The constant question that drives our perfectionism or doubt has an answer.
I don’t know many people, if any, who consciously ask themselves the existential question, “Am I Enough?”
The idea of being enough is more subtle than that. It oozes into our daily lives and thoughts almost without our knowledge.
It can look like questioning if we’ve done well at a task or if we may have been too harsh in a recent conversation. It may look like feeling pressure to look a certain way or have our homes look like something from a magazine. It looks like striving to do or be more all the time but never quite getting there.
Mainly, the idea of ‘enough’ manifests in some form of falling short.
In my youth, I was called “too sensitive” and “too dramatic,” often. I had all of the emotions, and most of them were untamed. Yet, for all of this “too muchness,” I’ve often struggled to feel I am enough — what a dichotomy.
The thing is, I would never be that hard on anyone else. Ever. In fact, if I ever heard someone else talk to themselves the way I talk to myself, I would call it abuse.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
I love this verse because it reminds me that I am not a surprise to God. He’s not up there scratching His head over me, wondering how He created someone who will never be enough on earth.
The verse doesn’t read, “I knew you before I formed you in the womb, and I wanted you to be a prophet to the nations, but I forgot to give you all the tools you need, and now you probably won’t do very well so you should maybe sit this one out.”
God knew what He was doing when He created you and me. He doesn’t see us as falling short or not enough.
We are precisely who we are meant to be with exactly the right everything to carry out the plans God has for us.
It doesn’t matter if we are too much on earth. In God’s eyes, we are perfect.
This means that the only place we can fall short is not believing enough in ourselves.
I’ve seen God use even the parts of me I would like most to hide to impact people positively. Whether by sharing my story or offering imperfect help to someone in need, God can and will use my not being enough or falling short for His glory. He will use yours, too.
In fact, I submit that has been His plan all along.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:9-10 (NIV)
God isn’t looking for perfect people, but whenever we think we are not enough, we are perfectly positioned for God to use us. Our job is to believe it, accept it, and dare I say, lean into it.
Leaning in looks like knowing we’ve done our best or apologizing when we’ve been too harsh. It looks like grace for ourselves when we don’t look like a photoshopped celebrity in a magazine. It looks like caring more about being present with people than wondering whether our surroundings are stunning enough. And it looks a lot like trading striving for taking it all in and enjoying each moment.
In God, we are enough; therefore, we know with confidence that we will never fall short.
Realistically, knowing we are enough can take practice and patience to believe. It’s not easy, for sure. So here are a few tips to help you when it gets hard.
1. Write Jeremiah 1:5 or 2 Cor 12: 9-10 on a sticky note and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
2. Ask a friend to help hold you accountable to be nicer to yourself and believe in yourself more.
3. Make a list each night of everything you did accomplish, no matter how small, and give yourself credit for a good day.
4. Take care of your health – because it makes everything easier.
5. Tell yourself daily about how much you love yourself and why. No critics allowed.
Over time, the feeling of not enough will ooze back out of your life. There is absolute freedom in that. The world needs you exactly as you are without changing a single thing. You are more than enough.
Spend some time today thinking about the times when you believed you were enough and let those thoughts become the mantra you need to remind you that you will never fall short in the eyes of God. Practice living in the freedom of being yourself and watch as God uses that for His glory.
Anne Watson is a business strategy coach who helps coaches and communicators think like a business so they can inspire like a boss. Her clients get extreme clarity about their niche and develop that into a transformational offer that increases both their self-worth and net worth. She is also the host of the Swayology podcast. Anne currently lives in the Dallas, Texas, area with her husband, three adult children, and too many dogs.