I think one of the most common struggles that people have is that of wondering... "Am I enough?" I know I have had my fair share of times when I stepped back from my life and felt that I was not enough and likely never would be enough. I often found that this thought would creep in when the following things were going on...
1. My plate was very full with things to accomplish and it seemed and felt overwhelming.
2. I was trying to provide for or please lots of other people and wasn't sure how I was going to make that happen.
3. I had just had a tremendous victory in business and wondered if all my future endeavors would be judged based on that victory. In other words, this was when I was suffering from comparison apprehension.
The first admission that I have is that I have a tendency to consistently overload my plate with things to get done. Some believe I am a content King, having written 19 books of my own and several books for other people, all in 11 years. Some believe I am a machine and can keep going without a need for rest or relaxation. I intentionally created those images of me. I wanted to show the world that I could outwork anyone around. I used to even brag about working 20 hours a day, sometimes more. I created my own overload in order to prove to myself that I was enough. Others were consistently impressed with me but it was me that was unimpressed, wondering why I didn't do more. As I have grown, particularly in the last year, I have come to realize that I don't really need the approval of others if I have not first approved of myself. I approve of me when I am balanced with diligent and intelligent work as well as adequate rest and recovery.
The second admission that I have is that I did want others to be impressed with me. I wanted them to see me as an incredible person, husband, dad, volunteer, etc. I found that I would promise things and commit to things that were likely outside of my capabilities at the time. I never wanted others to suffer or want for anything. I wanted to be "the man" and be able to provide everything that others would need or want in life and I wanted them to think it was easy for me. My lesson learned is that trying to please everyone typically leaves me very unpleased in the process. I am also learning that it is alright to say no to the people I love and it doesn't mean that I don't love them. It simply means that trying to do what they are asking me will put me in a position where I might crumble mentally, physically, or emotionally. I wonder how many other parents and spouses feel the same way I have felt. Do they push themselves so hard that failure is inevitable? I see so many parents that try to be everything to their kids. I see so many wives and husbands that try to be everything to their significant other. The truth is that until we are enough for ourselves, we can never be enough for anyone else.
The third admission I have is that when I succeed on a big scale, I often have a more extreme low right afterwards because of the let down. Success has been my drug of choice, providing me a euphoric high when working toward the success and in the middle of the accomplishment. Then, after the success is finished, my mind begins to crave a bigger success than before, a stronger high. This makes me wonder if I will ever succeed at a large enough level that I will be satisfied. I remember my dad even asking me as a kid when I was going to learn to be content, warning me that never being satisfied would lead to disappointment. My response was something to the effect of never wanting be satisfied because that would keep me from moving forward. This is the one I still struggle with the most. It isn't that I don't see my successes. I speak more often in paid gigs that most, if not all, of the speakers I know. I have written more books than most of the authors I have met. I make a good living, live in a nice house, and have a great group of people that love to be around me. Despite the signs of success in my life, I crave the next level. As I continue to learn the lesson of being happy with my successes, I remind myself daily that living into my gifts is the success that defines me. It truly is NOT about what I accomplish, the money I make, or the number of people that seek me out. It IS about knowing who I am and living into my gifts and potential.
Have you struggled with the same questions? Do you wonder if you are enough? Do you wonder if you are adequate in this life? My encouragement to you today is that you are enough. You have gifts within you. You have potential within you. When you wake up every day and seek ways to help others grow and succeed, remembering that the only thing that defines your worth is you seeking ways to live into your potential, you begin to feel a strength that supports you. Focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be without pushing yourself beyond your limits. You are and always have been enough. You are you and that is all you ever needed to be!
I believe in you!