When was the last time you felt you had to prove something to the people you love? How often you do you feel like you’re never good enough for your mother, father, grandparents, caregivers, or lover…No matter what you do, you never get a “That’s great! I’m so proud of you!” Or maybe they tell you so but it’s only on very special occasions, and it’s presented like, “You know well that we’re proud of you. It’s a given.”
When you feel that you’re not good enough, you often find yourself in isolation, sitting in the dark room abandoned and longing for love from the people you need it from most.
I remember the time when I achieved what I felt was a significant level of my success. I had gotten my voice out in some well-recognised magazines and newspapers, and had collaborated with well-known people. Everyone around me was so excited about my growth that it made me wonder why they were more proud and exhilarated about my achievements than I was. I realised that I was questioning my success and passion. I thought, “I’m not doing as great as some other people in this world. Anyone can have what I have. I still have a long way to go!”
I called my parents to share the news about my victories, and all I got was “Oh, ok. How’s the weather?” I felt devastated. It seemed that my deepest fears were reinforced by the people I love. What else do I need to do to at least deserve “It’s great. So, happy for you!” I got angry, sad, helpless, lonely — the whole garden salad of emotions. Then, I asked myself how I can give somebody so much control over how I feel about my victories, future, and passion.
Anger can be a powerful emotion to breakthrough, if you use it right. – Karolina Tatarenkova
I started to ponder what just happened. I live and breathe emotional fitness, yet it happened to me. Then, I digged deeper and went through a process that I will share with you here because I know that I’m not alone in this boat.
1. Is it really about me?
When you experience pain as a result of interaction with other people, you tend to personalise everything they say or don’t say and take it to heart. I realise that the opinion of those people whose love you have never got and always cherished is precious to you — like water in the desert. But it doesn’t have to be.
Remember, it’s not always about you.
2. Do I focus on what I have or what I’m missing?
The reason certain people don’t give you the love you want might just be that they never got the love they always longed for as well. They might be doing their best. Sometimes their way of controlling you or not giving you words of encouragement might be their way of showing love. Sound fucked up? Because it is.
When you hold on to your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny. -Bishop Jakes
It could be that the message they got about praise and encouragement is that it’s waste of time. Actions speak louder than words. You had probably heard this saying many time before. The actions they chose to show you love is according to their dictionary of how love is expressed, not yours. So, don’t expect them to live life according to your terms.
3. What will it take to love myself?
In order to expand the love you experience, you need to embark on your spiritual journey to discover unconditional love for yourself. Love is a choice, and if you have never experienced love it’s because you never chose to love. Love can be a healing force that unifies everybody. You can love someone without needing anything in return from them. That’s were freedom comes in.
I wanted recognition from my parents at that moment to feel loved and, to be honest, to feel love for them too. Sounds like barter or a business transaction, not love.
4. When will I start practicing self-love?
Loving yourself unconditionally will take care of the fear of not being good enough. Do your best in all of your endeavours. Even when you think you haven’t done your best, you still do your best as long as you’re enjoying yourself along the journey of reaching your purpose.
You can’t love somebody fully without loving yourself first. – Karolina Tatarenkova
I have a challenge for you. For the next 21 days, imagine it’s night time and you’re somewhere outside of the city, enjoying the sacred darkness of the night. You can’t really see yourself, it’s that dark. From that place of serenity and tranquility, write down three things you love about yourself.
The deeper you explore, the greater sense of totality and personal power will come in.
5. Is it bringing me closer to what I want from life?
I follow my passion and my heart. I know you do, too. It was disrespectful to my passion in life to question my accomplishments. It’s self-sabotaging. Why is it that you still find yourself rushing to prove others that you deserve to be loved and to love? By others I mean those who’s attention and love you were longing to have but did not when you were young.
Why? It’s a powerful question. We spend too much time trying to figure out why that we forget that it doesn’t really matter. It’s rarely about why.
6. What lights me up?
If you rely on someone’s validation of your success, you will never be free. You will never be able to create art and fulfill your passion. It will be so easy for anyone to derail you off your path.
Next time, when you are uncertain about your success — reflect back on why you are in this business, this relationship, and this career in the first place.
7. Might it be that I’m looking for something I can’t get?
Wasting your life and drowning in suffering because you have never had the love and attention from your parents you deserved or even witnessed other kids have will not get you anywhere but desperation and self-pity. By focusing on what you can’t have you will create obstacles.
By referring back to the memories of your parents never encouraging you for the great achievements that should have made them outrageously happy, you reinforce the limiting belief of not being good enough and worthy of people’s attention.
8. Am I making a living or designing my own life?
Coaching and counselling people, I can confidently say that you can’t force people to see from your own reality. We all have our own reality, and each reality is valid. Accept that you can’t control people or even change their behaviour by telling them not to do something. We all have been emotionally wounded at some point of our lives. However, some chose not to allow that wound to stop them from finding fulfillment in life, whereas others continue picking that scab, never allowing it to disappear.
Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. – Wayne Dyer
When you find yourself rejected by the people whose love you never got, don’t allow it to feed your soul. It might have been their fault that they never loved you the way you wanted them, but it’s your fault to allow it define who you are in the present.
9. Can I just let it go?
It might be scary as hell to let go of the feeling of not being good enough. Maybe it’s time to forgive and move on. You might think that not forgiving them for not loving you that way you wanted them serves you as a protection. But it doesn’t.
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey
It fact, it poisons you, your soul, and your passion for life. Because you’re not only thinking that they robbed you of that moment in the past, but also that they robbed you of the future as well. No one can take away your future from you.
10. Is now a good time to forgive?
Not forgiving is a self-fulfilling prophecy because it has everything to do with you and nothing to do with the other person. You trap yourself in isolation and loneliness, and try to prove that you’re worthy of love. It feeds this imprisonment. Problems need energy to live. Find people in your life who support you and empower you to become a better version of yourself.
Unforgiveness unchecked becomes a cancer in your soul. – Bishop Jakes
Next time you feel like yet again you’re not enough for your loved ones, tell yourself the following: “Every time I’m wasting my energy on where I have been or on what I haven’t had, I’m not going to have the energy, audacity, tenacity and courage I need to energize where I’m going”.
Let it go…
You want to cry – cry. You want to ponder – ponder. But never, ever again let anyone rob you off your celebrations, achievements, and passions.
Featured photo credit: Artur Nasyrov via unsplash.com