THE I AM ENOUGH CLUB
Welcome to the I AM ENOUGH Club.
I am so pleased that you have joined me on my journey to try to improve
So, I AM ENOUGH – not something that many
people can say comfortably, in fact on my journey in life and seeing clients, I
don’t think I have ever bumped into anyone that can truly say I AM ENOUGH, just
as I am, I don’t have to be achieving great things or even little things to be
an ok, worthwhile person, without that little voice kicking in with a large BUT
“I’m not spending enough time with my
“I’m not feeling in control of my work”
“I didn’t say yes to helping my friend with
her charity event”
“I’m not paying enough attention to my
“I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate
Sounding familiar – well that is why this
club might be the place for you. Over
time I am hoping to give you tools to help boost your self esteem and quieten that inner voice that will always
be there to give you a hard time – this is not a quick fix thing, it requires a
little bit of homework on an (ideally daily) basis but it doesn’t have to take long. For those of you that say “I haven’t got time”,
I am only asking for a couple of minutes a day.
As a nutritional therapist in this blog I
will also be giving you top tips on good things to eat to help your body
achieve optimum health and energy, however this is not my priority because I
have learnt on my journey so far that the mind-body connection is incredibly
powerful and if your head is in a good positive place, this will have a
profound impact on the wellbeing of your body.
So before I sign off for this time I would
like to give you a gift. I am going to give
you a pot of self-esteem, I would like you to close your eyes and imagine the
colour, the shape, the texture and where it is going to sit inside your
body. My pot is a very glossy electric
blue and it is perfectly round with a hole in the top, it sits in the centre of
my body, just below my rib cage in the inverted V. Every day I would like you to put something
or maybe more than one thing into your self esteem pot. Make it something that makes you feel good
about yourself, I don’t necessarily want achievements, as in an ideal world
self-esteem should not be about what you have done, but sometimes I know how
hard it is to think of things. To help
you on your way these are a few of the things that I have put in my self-esteem
“I am really proud of myself that I managed
to say no to helping with our local fundraiser, without feeling guilty”
“I am pleased that I took the time to rub
some cream into my rather dry and uncared for feet”
“I accepted a compliment by saying thank
you rather than protesting and batting it back to the other person”
I hope that this is helpful – until next
“I AM ENOUGH”
WHAT IS ENOUGH?
If that little voice has anything to do
with it enough will never be enough.
As part of my work as a nutritional
therapist, I do workshops that look at nutrition but also lifestyle, in
particular stress – these workshops take a good part of the day and usually by
the time I have finished I am fairly drained.
As I drive home from the workshop my “vulnerability hangover” usually
kicks in. Unfortunately I can’t take
credit for the phrase “vulnerability hangover”, this idea was introduced to me
by a fantastic lady called Brene Brown who has written a book called Daring
Greatly (it is in my top 3 of books that I have read on this subject) which is
all about having the courage to show your vulnerabilities. Anyway I digress there I was driving along with
my “vulnerability hangover” – it went something like this:
“There were a couple of people who were
rather quiet during the workshop –
Perhaps they were bored?
Was I too scientific?
Did they think that my beliefs were too out
Did I shock them when I started talking
Perhaps they didn’t like the lunch?
I didn’t get good vibes from that person,
she probably didn’t like me
and on it goes…………
I was talking about my “vulnerability
hangover” with a very wise friend and she very astutely pointed out that even
if everyone who had attended the workshop had written a 3 page email extolling
the virtues of the day and how much they had enjoyed it, there would always be
that little voice kicking in with a big BUT.
This got me thinking – so what would enable
me not to have this voice kicking in and giving me a hard time, well it all
boils down to self-esteem. If I am in a
good confident place, feeling ok about myself then I will be able to bat that
little voice into touch.
So we come back to the pot of self-esteem
and what you put in it every day, things that make you more resilient to
everyday knockbacks and things that enable you to weather what the little voice
throws at you.
Next time I will be looking more closely at
that little inner voice, until then
“I AM ENOUGH”
This week I want to examine that little
inner voice more closely, this voice is different for everyone and it will pick
on all those particular insecurities that are unique to you – although often it
is the same hang ups that are common the world over. Those buttons that are specifically yours that
you find being pushed on a regular basis are sometimes very hard to rationalize
and understand – what is the trigger and where do they come from?
I have found that triggers that fuel that
little voice usually have been with people a long time as they often stem from
childhood. If you look at the work of
Bruce Lipton he states that up until the age of 7 we are on download mode, we
are not able to rationalize our experiences or file them logically in our brain,
(it is interesting to also note the Jesuit maxim “Give me a child for his
first seven years and I'll give you the man”) so if for
example a mother tells their child on a regular basis “You are a naughty
girl/boy” rather than “What you did was really naughty”, this gets downloaded
onto a child’s hard drive. That person
then operates their life from a learnt neural pathway that says “I am a bad
person”, this can then very easily translate into “Because I am a bad person, I
am not loveable”. This process is very
simple but can have a life changing effect on how someone sees themselves. The above is just one example, there are
countless downloads that can translate into a person having low self esteem and
thinking that they are “NOT ENOUGH”
Awareness of your downloads can be very useful
in helping to deal with them – those times when you find yourself over-reacting
to a situation, that in reality is not a big deal. Try to take a step back and to analyse where
your emotion is coming from, sometimes it takes for us to have some time and
space to sit quietly and listen to what really is going. For most negative reactions the underlying
emotion is fear - after all, anger is just fear with attitude. Sitting with your fear and trying to work out
the underlying cause of it can be invaluable. Writing about it can be very
productive, the very process of writing can help us to process emotions and
sometimes you will be surprised about what comes up – just keep writing. If you are angry or upset with someone,
writing them a letter in which you let it all pour out can be a way of really
getting down to the nitty gritty of what the problem is – I don’t suggest that
you send the letter but a ceremonial burning of it to let all those emotions go
can be very therapeutic.
Some clients that I have, find it helpful
to give their little voice a persona – is it male or female, what does it look
like? Initially these personas often have
a fairly unattractive and threatening appearance, they are mean and twisted –
spouting lots of hurtful and negative things.
Over time if you can make this persona seem more comical – give it a
funny nose or sticky out ears, then what they have to say doesn’t pack such a
punch and when they start to chatter you say “oh hello its you again – I don’t
think that you have anything to say that I would want to listen too”. By doing this you are separating that little
voice from you – realising that the mental chatter is not actually you, can
help you get some distance from the negativity.
Before I sign off I would like to leave you
with one last thought. Listen to your
little voice and say to yourself would I ever speak to any other person like
this – the answer is usually no, so then make it a rule, if you wouldn’t say
this to anyone else then don’t let the little voice say it to you.
Keep coming back to the idea that I AM
ENOUGH, whatever life is throwing at me, whatever I haven’t achieved….
Until next time
“I AM ENOUGH”
SOME IDEAS FOR DEALING WITH INNER TURMOIL
THAT SAPS YOUR SELF ESTEEM
Before I start I thought I might just
remind you about your self esteem pot – have you put anything in it recently –
hopefully it is brimming over with feel good factor things. This morning I looked up at the beautiful
blue sky (don’t worry it didn’t last in case you are thinking I didn’t get blue
sky this morning) and breathed in, long and slow – I put a ball of that
beautiful blue sky into my pot to keep me going for when the clouds roll in.
Today I wanted to look at a technique that
can help you deal with brain whizzing, anxious, stressful thoughts
Firstly, dealing with the overwhelm feeling
Do you find your mind whizzing with all
those jobs that you have to get done?
Do you wake in the night and find it
impossible to switch your brain off? (I will be talking about sleep in future
Do you find yourself saying there are just
not enough hours in the day to get all my stuff done?
My answer is - write lists – very simple – write lists or
dictate it on to your phone – the idea is to get those jobs out of your head, often
you can have lots of jobs whizzing round in your head that feels totally
overwhelming but as soon as you write them down there may only be 5 or 6 –
there might be more but the fact that you have got them all down on paper or on
your phone will take away one of the stresses and that is that you might forget
The next most important thing to realize
and this took my a little while, is that you will NEVER get to the end of your
list of jobs, however quickly you tick them off (sometimes I even write things
on my list that I have already done just to have the pleasure of ticking them
off!) they will keep adding on the bottom.
So what to do – I look at my list in the
morning and say when I have ticked a certain number off, it won’t be the same
each day, because life gets in the way and also some jobs take longer, anyway
when I have ticked off my certain number, I say ENOUGH – that is ENOUGH, I have
done ENOUGH for today – now it is me time, the rest of the jobs can wait till
Why do we find this so hard to do, for me
this desperate desire to get all my jobs done is a control thing – I like to
feel in control – I’m working on it and now actively look for ways to lighten
my load. When someone asks if they can
help for example in the kitchen, instead of saying “No I’m fine” (secretly
thinking they won’t chop the carrots exactly the way I do them, so its easier
if I do it) I think “are you crazy, why look a gift horse in the mouth?”. Here is someone offering to help me, to
lighten my load and I am considering saying no.
I also have to remember how much pleasure it gives me, feeling that I am
helping someone else, why should I deny that pleasure to someone else. It’s also a lot of fun working along side
someone else in the kitchen. Makes you
feel that you are not the family slave chained to the sink/cooker.
Realising that with many of your jobs, if
you leave them till tomorrow the sky will not fall in, is a major
breakthrough. Another thing to be aware
of is that little perfectionism voice kicking in, which leads me onto that
glorious subject of perfectionism - this
is a huge topic – not one for this time so I will keep it for the next blog.
“ I AM ENOUGH”
What is perfectionism – here is one
“a person's striving for flawlessness and setting excessively
high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and
concerns regarding others' evaluations”
Sounds quite exhausting and miserable to me and yet in my
experience it is what so many people strive for. My theory on why this is, is because we live
in a society where children are praised for getting things right. We are then back to the download problem onto
the hard drive of people is downloaded the message thatit is only ok when they get things right, that
they are only
ok when they get things right – we have set up a whole nation to become
perfectionists and people pleasers (the latter being a whole other topic) –
would it be too extremely radical to praise children and adults for having a
go, making an effort and even to praise them when they make mistakes. Yes probably quite radical but it might lighten
this constant pressure to be the best, the most successful, the fastest, the
strongest, the most attractive, the skinniest and on it goes – where is the
acceptance that “I AM ENOUGH” just as I am.
Perfectionism kills creativity, it prevents
people from going out on a limb, taking a risk, putting a new idea out there –
only when we do these things can we push the boundaries and break free. By staying within the boundaries it is like
staying within the prison walls – frozen by what people might think.
Brene Brown puts it perfectly, by the way she has just bought out a new book
called “Rising Strong” which is brilliant.
“Understanding the difference
between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the
shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers
success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and
So we come back to the message of “I AM ENOUGH”, whatever you
are doing it does not have to be perfect, it is enough
POEM BY TOSHA SILVER
It’s good to know both your specialness and
Then you can let go and embrace it all.
You can play your role in this exquisite,
With complete abandon.
You can be a melting snowflake, a drifting
dancing in a pond.
And if you touch any heart with what you do
For the brief moments you are here,
that is enough
"I AM ENOUGH"
People pleasing is a perfect way to lower
your self esteem – it sets up within you a constant battle of feeling that you
are not ok if you don’t say yes and keep everyone happy. To have good self esteem you need to have
respect for your own beliefs and ideas, if you are too busy people pleasing
then you are not being genuine to yourself or others – there is constant
conflict, which can lead to anger and resentment.
Where does people pleasing come from – I
think we may be back to that down load again.
Essentially we are pack animals and we want to fit in, we are also born
very dependent upon our parents/caregivers, which may mean that we are born with
a survival instinct to please, to ensure that we are not rejected. This survival drive is then compounded by the
fact that we are praised for being compliant and towing the line. What a good girl, what a good boy is
something that is commonly heard – this kind of blanket praise affects our self
esteem as a whole person, however if the praise is more directed – “I can see
how much effort you put into that picture” or “you built that model really
carefully”, it does not link the act with a persons overall self esteem. Studies have shown that this kind of praise
does not make a child dependent upon praise and does not de-motivate them
So back to people pleasing - how does this
manifest itself. Here are a few
questions that you can ask yourself.
Do you find it hard to say no?
Are you afraid to go out on a limb and
voice an opinion that may be contrary to others?
Do you find it easier to just go along with
what everyone else wants?
Are you hesitant about taking the
Do you feel that you can’t express your
true feelings if there is a risk you might upset someone?
Do you always keep your emotions under
Do you go out of your way to keep the peace?
Are you afraid to let people down even when
their demands are unreasonable?
Be aware of the language that you use with
yourself if it contains I should, I ought, I must ……then it is most likely that
you are people pleasing and it is not something that you genuinely want to do. People pleasing does not make for internal
harmony because it usually means that your internal convictions and beliefs are
being squashed in order to say and do the “pleasing” thing
Harriet Braiker in her book “The Disease to
Please” says that the drive to people please comes from a deep fear of negative
emotions – “fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of conflict or
confrontation, fear of criticism, fear of being alone and fear of anger”. Mistakenly we think that pleasing people will
protect us from either feeling or experiencing all of these negative and
uncomfortable emotions. The problem is
that unless we have a healthy pot of self-esteem inside of us it is very
difficult to protect ourselves from feeling rejected, criticized, alone or
angry whatever the outside world throws at us, good or bad. I guess we go back to my vulnerability moment
after my presentation – even if everyone had said it was fantastic wonderful
etc etc, unless my pot of self-esteem is good those uncomfortable emotions will
always be lurking ready to give me a hard time.
So the next time you are feeling conflicted
in a situation and feel that you have to tow the line – be brave, speak up, it
does not have to be in a confrontational way, if you are open and honest about
the way you are really feeling people should respect this - and if they don’t,
remember that is their download that they are working from and not yours. At the end of the day you are doing your best
and THAT IS ENOUGH.