Many of us are our own worst enemies when it comes to our perception around what we have or have not achieved, as well as how we look. As women who live in a society that values body perfection, this ‘not enough’ talk may manifest in the form of body loathing.
How We View Our Bodies Often Results in “Not Enough” Thinking
Every week I teach a class on body image at Green Mountain and I ask our program participants: How much of your day is spent thinking about your weight?
- On average about a third of the group will raise their hands at 50% of their day; two-thirds raise their hands at 75% and up.
- When asked if they know of any woman who loves her body – rarely does anyone raise their hand.
- When asked if they’re able to hear/receive compliments, 90% – 100% – week after week – share that it’s hard to allow the good in, because they simply don’t believe the compliment that is being given is true.
I recently read a great article written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, in which she writes about how as women we often succumb to that all-too-common feeling of ‘not enough’ – no matter what we have achieved, how we show up in life, or what we look like.
As women, we tend to measure ourselves against each other, a past Self, and/or an expectation of an optimal ‘future’ Self. Often, how we view our size, weight and shape is a common way in which this ‘not enough’ mentality can show up.
3 Tips to Shift From “Not Enough” to “Good Enough”
If you find that you find your thoughts often default to negative self-talk, here are three tips on how to begin shifting from ‘not enough’ to ‘good enough’ – one thought and action at a time.
1. Accept those compliments
Even if you aren’t buying it. A simple “Thank you” or “Thank you for saying that.” is enough.
Practice taking the ‘good’ in.
2. Change your stinkin’ thinkin’
When you notice a self-deprecating thought pop up, simply interrupt that auto-pilot by saying ‘cancel’, or ‘stop’ and shift your focus to a more nurturing thought, such as “I’m okay”, “I’m enough as I am” or “I choose self-care”.
Often focusing on what our body does for us – something we may take for granted such as our strength, stamina, ability to be mobile – is a good first step toward shifting the focus of our inner dialogue.
3. Acknowledge your strengths
Develop an attitude of gratitude. John Gottman, renowned relationship expert, claims the positive comments need to outweigh the criticisms of another (5 to 1) for cultivating a healthy, loving relationship.
The same goes for us. We need to focus on our strengths more than we focus on our flaws. If you need help with identifying what those are – try the Strengths Finder Assessment to get you started.
These are simple, yet effective steps that can be practiced regularly in order to begin shifting from ‘not good enough’ thinking to the practice of acknowledging and even honoring our strengths.
It’s okay to have goals and aspirations for ourselves – but it’s important to do so from a self-acceptance and self-regard.