At an early age, you probably tried harder or were told to try harder if you experienced that you weren’t enough. Perhaps you can relate to one or more of these situations.
Your parents paid more attention to your sister or brother.
Your teacher rated you as below average in some subjects in school.
Your boss made you feel like your work was sub-par after you spent so much time and effort.
Their original intention may have been to help you become and do better. And in many ways, this has probably helped you strive to be better and to achieve more, especially in your academic and professional life.
But when it comes to love, feeling like you are not enough has an adverse effect. It is more harmful than helpful. It shows up in your thoughts, behaviors and actions, how you treat yourself and how men treat you.
The Domino Effect of “I’m Not Enough”
When self talk is negative, a healthy relationship can’t thrive in an environment of negative thoughts. From my experience, the women I coach, and the love dilemma questions I get, women are more prone to thinking thoughts that point to, “I am not enough”.
Typical thoughts of not being worthy include:
- I could never get a guy like that. (Or he would never go for a woman like me.)
- I’m afraid to say what I really think and feel because he will [fill in the blank]
- What can I do or say to get him to like or love me more?
- How can I win him back? I will do whatever it takes
- Compared to [fill in the blank], I’m nothing
- It’s my fault that [fill in the blank]
- The self talk used to rationalize and justify red flags
Feelings from thinking you are not enough show up as:
- Feeling bad about yourself
- Feeling unsure about the guy you’re with
- Fear of what happened, what is and what might happen
- Uncertainty and doubt about ever finding love
- Confusion about what to do about a love dilemma
- Frustration of not being able to break past the barriers keeping you from love
- Disappointment from getting the same undesired results over and over
Behaviors and actions that come from these thoughts and feelings include:
- Comparing yourself to friends and other women
- Unable to embrace being single
- Behaving and acting in desperate ways
- Being and doing things that sacrifice your values and integrity
- Self sabotaging behaviors
- Being stuck and not taking action
- Trying to control things
- Expecting the worse
- Your ideal love life will never happen from this domino effect of thoughts > feelings > behaviors and actions.
How to Value Yourself More
But here’s the good news. Being aware of what you most think about and the way you think about these thoughts is a step towards “I am enough”. Here’s what I mean.
Your thoughts > feelings > behaviors and actions determine your destiny. When you recognize what and how you’ve been thinking, and feel the emotions that come up, you learn why you haven’t gotten the results you desire.
Over a 3-week period, write down the thoughts that come up repeatedly and the feelings that accompany each thought. Highlight the negative thoughts. As those thoughts come up, observe them curiously with judgment-free awareness, as if you are watching your thoughts on a movie screen.
Being curious with judgment-free awareness about these thoughts will avoid triggering the typical negative feelings that follow. When negative feelings aren’t triggered, you won’t behave and act in negative ways.
Each time these thoughts come up, continue observing them curiously, with judgment-free awareness. The more you do this, the more these thoughts will drop themselves. As these thoughts drop themselves, space will open up for positive, supportive thoughts that replace your original thoughts.
The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. What you’ll experience is this: supportive thoughts > positive feelings > behaviors and actions aligned with your heart’s desire > your ideal love life.
You Determine Your Value
No one else can build your worth for you. If you don’t think highly of yourself, even if someone else tells you how great you are, you’ll have a hard time believing what they are saying. Only you can build your self worth.
Valuing yourself starts with your thoughts. When you believe and know that “I am enough”, your self worth will be intact despite what happens. Your self worth won’t be dependent on what the guy you’re dating or what your partner thinks of you. You will be free to be your true self. What is your most common thought around “I am not enough” and how has that affected your love life?