When am I enough?
Grammatically seen this sentence is not correct, I know. And yet this means a lot to me. A while ago, when I thought to lay up more claims on myself, I got irritated at once and thought, ‘Am I never enough?’
There is a strange division in me: one side is deep inside me. That is that part of me that knows exactly who I am, that knows what my talents are, that part of me that is convinced of what I’m capable of, that knows what I want to bring into the world.
The other side is in my head: I thought that what I did was not enough. What would others think of me? Didn’t I fell short as a partner, as a mother, as a collegue, as a person? To what actually did I measure that ‘being enough’? In society are heaps of rules and expectations to which I thought I had to comply, boxes in which I thought I had to fit, certificates I thought I had to get. Indeed, ‘thought I had to’: all that thinking took place in my head.
How is it possible that my head is able to keep my inner convictions to come to the surface? I am convinced that fear is the cause. Fear to get harmed, fear of being found to be not good enough, fear for judgements and to be judged. Now, after all these years, I know that I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Isn’t that strange? Many think that another is better than we are and many think that we have to meet anything and everything. With this we keep each other in the forceps.
If I look at society from above, I see a structure with appointments, rules and tasks. Society is a cohabitation that gives safety to the people who live in there. and that needs those appointments, rules and tasks to be able to function. Maybe the word ‘system’ is better: society as a system. A system is self-sustaining, as if it is an independent mechanism.
Seen from the bottom up, from the human side, that system can be a corset. Society for me sometimes feels like a corset because I am forced (or think I am forced) to fit in a box that the system invented. That is why I didn’t always find it easy to choose my own path. We all know remarks like ‘do normal, that’s crazy enough’, ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘can you earn money with that?’. By tolerating these thoughts and remarks I kept myself below. And that made me, for a long time unconscious, unhappy.
As a human we all want to be seen for who we are, we all want to live a fulfilled live, be able to do what makes us happy and what satisfies us. And we feel satisfied if we can use our talents. Unfortunately we often don’t recognize our talents, let alone that we acknowledge them.
This is the division I felt often: on one hand the feeling to have to measure up to where society wants me, there where I am useful; on the other hand the wish to use my talents fully, to do what satisfies me.
When do I find myself good enough? If I meet time and again new demands of society, of organizations, of the people around me?
Or do I find myself good enough if I can live according my own values, if I can develop my talents in a direction that makes me happy? And that doesn’t have to be an ever higher education, or a diploma, a certification or a career. For me career is mainly personal development; daring to be the person I am; daring to develop my talents and daring to trust on them. They are MY talents, I got them. Free and for nothing. I can hide them, I can let them under snow, but they are there, for ever. I want to (re)discover them, develop them and use them!
If I use my talents consciously, if I can do what I’m good at, I can contribute to society in my own way. Than I can live a fulfilled life. And above all: I take control.
For me that is personal leadership: develop and use my talents consciously, to do justice to what is important to me. In this way I take my place in the world consciously.
My answer to the question ‘when do I find myself good enough?’ is: if I acknowledge to myself who I am, if I can do what gives me fulfillment.
What do you need to think you are good enough?
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