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For the “I’m not good enough” people

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 83

This podcast is for those bleaker days when it feels like everything's falling apart and you're just being really mean to yourself.

I think a lot of the self-criticism that most of us face comes from those inner little gremlins that tell us all of the bad things about ourselves; when things go wrong, quite often, they can be stripped back to the one thought of telling ourselves that we're not good enough.

And what's really strange about this thought, and why I get really curious that it's so pervasive, is most of us think that we alone are the one person who isn't good enough. And yet so many of us have this same feeling, and I'm not sure where it comes in, whether it is a mix of experience, socialisation, or comparison. We certainly don't plop out of the womb thinking we're not good enough to try standing up, or try picking our noses, or wiggling our toes. We are very tenacious in our efforts to get curious and learn things. But somewhere along the line, we get this idea that there's something fundamentally wrong with us, and there's something about us that isn't quite cutting the grade.

And this podcast is just a really practical way of trying to neutralise that voice when it comes up. And rather than trying to positive-think our way out of things, which I don't think is particularly useful as a long-term strategy, what this is hopefully going to help you do is to put it under a microscope and have a look at what you're actually saying there, and whether you really believe it.

Because quite often when these thoughts come up, they're surrounded by an awful lot of shame and embarrassment. And so we push them down further because they're very uncomfortable to look at, but the feeling still stays with us because the thought still stays with us. But I found that when you bring these thoughts out into the open, actually your brain can start going, that isn't what I believe at all, or that doesn't align with my politics, or that isn't the kind of thing that I say to other humans. So I'm not going to say it to myself. And you can't do that if you're pushing it away as soon as the thought arises.

So I invite you to get curious whether you ever have this thought of thinking that you're not good enough. And maybe you don't need to wait until you're super-activated to be questioning this. Maybe even if you just think there's something in your life that you're not good enough to do or you're not good enough to be or you haven't achieved yet because you tell yourself you're not good enough.

Maybe you could get a pen and a piece of paper or just sit there staring at the sky for a few minutes and think, what does good mean to you? What is good? What are you throwing around as a well-known phrase that you expect everybody to know and agree to? What are you actually saying there? You have to be good. By what standard? By what measurement? How would you know if you were good? What is bad? How are you measuring all of these things? What does it actually mean? And what is enough? Do you have a metric scale? Is it 10%? Is it 47%? Is it definitely over 75? Is it being able to do a certain number of things? Is it being able to do things for a certain period? Like, what is your measurement of enoughness? And how would you know if you would meet it or not? And have you ever measured your enoughness?

Most of us have these sort of phrases as throwaway quality markers, when actually they consist of very little. As soon as you try and hold them to any kind of accountability, they just fall apart like wet cardboard. So, investigating what you actually mean with the words that you say can be super powerful.

And then, as a last little point to just have a look at, I invite you to get curious about who else you hold to these kinds of standards. Who else has to be this good? Who else has to be this enough? And if you think, I quite often hear people say, "I'd never speak to anybody else the way that I speak to myself" with all the love in my heart, that's a cop out. It's a real cop out. Because when you say stuff like that to yourself, you're allowing that thought to become more acceptable within yourself, within your body, within your life. And if you are allowing those standards to be set for yourself, there is some part of you that will also be holding other people to those standards. Even if you don't want to, even if it doesn't fit with your politics, it is what you're setting as a judgment in your sphere, in your life, in your heart.

And so I invite you to sort of also get a little bit curious about whether you would hold someone you love to those standards. How would you say it to them if you were to tell them that they weren't good enough, they weren't being enough, how would you tell them about their enoughness? And would you hold someone who is more vulnerable than you to those kind of accounts? Maybe you could picture it to be someone who, you know, who is more vulnerable to you in a particular situation. How does it make you feel when you say that kind of things or hold that person to that kind of standards? And if you wouldn't, why not? And I imagine that one of the reasons that you wouldn't is because you know that it's not cool, it's not nice, it's not kind. And something in your heart knows that it's wrong.

And that's because all of us are welcome just by the mere existence of existing. That you are worthy of love and care and respect, just as you are. And you don't need to prove that to anyone. You don't need to do anything differently. And you don't need to meet some imaginary, fictitious scale that we haven't even invented yet to deserve your space on this planet. All of us deserve love just by the mere concept of the fact that we are. And the more that we can practice telling ourselves that this is true for everybody, the more slowly that sort of door creaks open, that everybody has to include us. And the way that we speak to ourselves really impacts the way that we interact with other people. The kind of things that we allow in our lives, the kind of things that we allow other people, we accept from other people, the treatment we accept from other people. And it really holds a huge amount of sway as to how we treat other people. Even though we might try and pretend that it doesn't. It all ripples out. And it ripples out from how much respect you show yourself.

So, my love, if no one's told you this today, you are completely enough, just as you are. And I hope that you are able to stand in your own shining light of that. Enough to be able to spot when someone else needs to hear that and to tell them it, too. I hope this is useful today and on that day when I hope you don't need it, but it's right here waiting for you.

I'll see you next week.


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