Ever since I can remember, I have battled the fear of not being enough, or ironically, being too much.
I often struggled with perfectionism and self-inflicted anxiety, which led me into negative thought patterns of never feeling like I was good enough. This way of thinking made me continuously obsess over doing things the “right” way or the “best” way – whether that was with my schoolwork, extra-curricular activities or in my relationships with family and friends. Striving to be your best self is important, but with a negative mind-set, it can be destructive.
As I approached my final years of high school, the way I was feeling started to change. Instead of not feeling like I was good enough, I began feeling like I was “too much.” I started to think I was too intense, too emotional, too sensitive and the list goes on. I not only had these thoughts in my head, but I would hear these statements from friends and family.
How could I balance the fear of not being enough with the fear of being too much, all at once?
This was an internal struggle that no one knew about. It was one that I lived with and dealt with on my own, as I didn’t want to burden anyone else with my problems.
At the age of 17, a family friend introduced me to the practice of meditation. However, at the time, there weren’t many places where I could actually do this. After doing a little research, I found a Yoga Studio named Moksha Yoga Richmond Hill. Little did I know, this would soon become my second home.
Within the first five years of practicing and learning yoga, along with studying psychology in University, I began my journey of self-observation, reflection, discovery and deep self-awareness.
Although I continued to struggle with my fears, I now had foundational tools and resources to manage these emotions. Meditation brought more balance into my life and guided me to a place of self-acceptance and trust. It allowed me to get clear on my thoughts, to listen and observe those thoughts without judgment, and become more open and attentive to the present moment.
The beauty about mindfulness is that it allows you to access the moment-to-moment experience of feelings, thoughts, emotions, sensations and your surroundings through a gentle and nurturing lens.
Before practicing mindfulness, I was an over stimulated over thinker without the proper tools to be present and regulate my emotions. In those five years, I used the practice of mindfulness and meditation to better understand myself. I came to realize that I am someone who feels my emotions deeply and intensely, and that I often become overwhelmed as a result of that.
I guess what I am saying is that mindfulness, positive psychology and yoga have collectively helped me to just be. I have learned to embrace my sensitivity unapologetically and release my fears of not being enough or too much.
There is a quote by Brene Brown that says, “be present with people without sacrificing who you are.” This speaks volumes to me in just one simple sentence. It teaches us not to dim our light for others and not to compromise our truth either.
Be kind and be yourself without the fear of approval, fear of not being enough, nor the fear of being too much for others.
As I graduated with my degree in psychology, I decided to dive deeper into my path of yoga studies. At the age of 22, I participated in my very first yoga teacher training, and to this day, can affirm it was the best decision I ever made. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. From this training, I formed a better relationship with myself, met an incredible community of like-minded humans and earned a certification to teach what I love!
You could say that I was on a high coming out of that training and in a state of true bliss! I had done so much work to tap into positive thought patterns and be free of my fears. As we know, self-work is an everyday commitment that requires our attention.
After a few short years of being in the industry, in a sea of other wonderful instructors, my fears of not being enough and being too much began to resurface.
The feeling of not being enough manifested in the need to always do more. I thought I needed to adjust my teaching style to replicate other instructors in order to keep my students engaged. This feeling quickly became exhausting, sparking anxiety and uncertainty in myself and what I was capable of.
It was at that moment when I knew I had to dive deeper into my self-work and eliminate the unhealthy comparison of myself to others.
So, what is the answer?
The answer is self-acceptance. You must get clear on who you are and focus on your strengths, the gifts that you possess, the things you love to share with others and the things that bring you joy.
When you come to understand this truth about yourself, you can then offer what is authentic to you and what truly makes you feel happy and inspired. Some things I want you to remember…
Follow the beginner’s mind.
Understand that simple is significant.
Recognize that repetition is key.
Acknowledge progression as evolutionary.
Continue to live, grow and learn always.
There is an audience for what you offer and stand for.
You are integral and there is only one of YOU.
I encourage you to get clear on what brings you meaning, purpose and a genuine connection and love into your life. Share your love of teaching. Share your love for movement. Share the gift of human experience.
Let’s practice enough-ness together!
10-Minute Mindful Breath Sit:
Find a comfortable seat or lying position. Rest your eyes and simply begin to follow your breath in and out of your nostrils. Observe your inner state as well as your external environment. Listen without judgment and investigate with compassion. Gift yourself the present moment. Inhale, “I am”. Exhale, “Enough”.
Journal your Self-Reflection from your 10-Minute Mindful Breath Sit:
Reflection: How do you feel? Body? Emotions? Mind?
Intention: What is it that you hope for from your day?
Attention: What will you focus your attention on today?
Attitude: What kind of attitude will you choose to carry with you today?
Stay Focused. Be Aligned. Keep Moving!