Fear is a part of every person’s journey in varying degrees. Fear can be crippling but it also can be compelling, depending on how you allow it to influence your life. Interestingly though, most fear isn’t real, it’s imagined. Our internal view of life, through which we filter everything, is where the greatest fears live, and when we give power to these fears, they can stop us from experiencing the life we truly desire to live and experience.
I have discovered more and more that the most common fear that appears to impact people in our culture is the fear of not being enough.
The fear of not being enough affects your sense of self-worth, self-esteem and our self-image. Everything you attempt to do is controlled by the need to be perfect, or at least good enough, so we are constantly trying to prove our worth and value to others. The fear of not being enough corrodes your confidence and certainty and creates a constant striving that is emotionally draining. This fear, or internal limiting belief, impacts your relationships, dreams, career, behaviour and decisions because deep down the fear of not being good enough drives you. It stops you trying new things, or taking risks in case you get it wrong, fail or stuff it up. It can creates unhealthy behaviours in relationships because you feel you constantly have to prove yourself, show that you’re good enough, or be perfect all the time. Unless you’re perfect, you feel you are a failure, which becomes emotionally and physically exhausting. We can then try to address the fear by working harder, striving more, doing more, getting busier and achieving, or we withdraw, hibernate and cut people off from our lives, or just give up. Shame attaches itself to the “not good enough” feelings and thoughts, and leads to destructive unhelpful behaviour.
As you can see, this fear of not being good enough has the potential to negatively impact our lives, in varying degrees, and creating freedom from it is life changing.
So how do we overcome this fear and create freedom, resilience and empowered living? Here are some ideas on how you can start to take charge and control of this fear. The truth is, you are definitely enough.
1/ Awareness – becoming aware that this fear or limiting belief exists is a good first step. I mean it is in us all in varying degrees, which is why they believe it is a universal fear, and awareness around it is critical. How does this limiting belief manifest itself in your life? Become more aware of its power over your life, your decisions, your behaviour, your relationships and most importantly your self-worth. Do you feel like you have to prove yourself? How do you view mistakes, failure and feedback? Are you a perfectionist, or controlling and simply lacking confidence and belief in yourself? Do you self sabotage when things seem to be going good?
2/ listen and change your language of self – what we tell ourselves has the power to create our reality. Language creates our culture of self. What are you telling yourself? Challenge your self-talk and re-frame it in a way that is resourceful to you. Question your thoughts – Ask yourself: “How true is this?”, “What evidence have I got to support this?”, “If a friend was saying this about themselves, what would I say to them?” “Who says that’s true, or where did I learn that?” “When did I decide I wasn’t good enough, and how is that belief helping me?” Learn to not believe the story that your mind is telling you.
3/ create new meaning and responses to old experiences – what meaning have you given to past events and experiences that reflect on who you are? Are they resourceful and helpful? The meaning you give to something will create your response and outcomes. You can’t change the event, but you have 100% power to change the meaning you give it and your response..
4/ be aware of who is in your grandstand – there are only so many seats in your grandstand of life, those who are your cheerleaders and voices of influence and honest feedback. Choose them carefully and wisely. They will either lift you or lower you. Call on the people in your life that will lift you, encourage you and challenge you …. in love. The ones you don’t have to prove yourself to.
5/ Acknowledge yourself – write down three things everyday that you can acknowledge about yourself, things you have overcome, thoughts you have questioned and re-framed … even the smallest shift you notice … acknowledge it. Practice gratitude – such a powerful life lifter is the art of becoming grateful. Write down 3 new things you are grateful for every day, and soon what you’re looking for in life changes. Even in yourself.
6/ take action – doing nothing will change nothing. Action leads to change and action is one thing that will help overcome fear and self doubt. Create some steps forward, even small ones to start with and celebrate your wins along the way. As they say, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” One of the greatest way to overcome fear, is action.
Experience the difference of greater confidence, self belief and worth. Have a brilliant day! Brett