Ep. 08: Think You’re Not Enough? Here’s How to Stop!

Below are the show notes for this weeks podcast and I highly encourage you to listen to the full podcast.

Our show started with a special appreciation and shout out for one of our listener’s!

ISA Community Shout Out

Della Rae: Radio Host, Lecturer, and Author. Della hosts the Be Well Radio Show on KBOO 90.7 (Portland). She also wrote a book called, Little Book of Self-Care, and you can find her at www.DellaRae.net. This week I want to appreciate that Della is Expressive, Beautiful, and Nurturing Della. These were 3 easy qualities to see in Della so I can only imagine how much more is there once you get to know her. Thank you Della!

If you’d like to get an appreciation and a shout out join us on FaceBook or Twitter and let me hear from you. I’ll be happy to mention your business or site right on the show.

Think You’re Not Enough? Here’s How to Stop!

We all feel less than or not enough. Some of us think that once in a while and for others it’s daily. For most of us we don’t even realize we do but it comes out in our actions. The thought that we are not beautiful, not intelligent, not good, or that we don’t matter was fed into our impressionable minds from a young age. Many of us have been carrying these “false beliefs” around for most of our lives. Often times we can hear that voice clearly in our head.

Other times that voice is much more subtle and not so obvious. Someone says something and you snap back, You’re not picked to be on a team or for that job and you lash out or retreat, Someone gets some recognition and you reflect on why you didn’t and what that means. There are moments throughout our day where it may not be so obvious that deep down inside we don’t think we matter. Yet, it lives deep inside of us and those emotions are just waiting to express themselves just at the right moment. It very typically comes out in anger and frustration. After all, we may carry these thoughts with us but they are not true.

These thoughts are more than just negative and persistent thoughts. These thoughts literally prevent us from living our dreams. Even if we don’t outright say them, they live underneath the surface and drive a lot of our behaviors. Even if you’re not one that hears that voice on the surface you can still pick out what it’s saying. It may say, I am not… – good, beautiful, intelligent, creative, caring, lovable, loving, worthy, valuable, precious, important, or strong enough. Search deep down inside and think about what that voice – that inner critic- is telling you about yourself.

The good news is that there is a method in which we can rid ourselves, at least greatly reduce, those thoughts and prevent them from ruining our hopes and dreams. It’s a quite simple process but does take some intention on your part. The other thing to consider is that these thoughts you carry were engrained from a very young age. This means that while you can get some relief and wonderful self awareness now, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be “healed” after doing this exercise once.

As much as we all want that magic pill, I think we all know that good things take work and personal development and self awareness are not the exception to that rule. Let’s start with a little background before we get to the exercise.

Those negative false beliefs we carry are only there because someone far back in our past told us either directly or indirectly that they were true. Then either that same person or another person reminded us again and again and again. Eventually, our little brains picked up that information as being true about us. After all, we were not born thinking we were stupid, ugly, and not important. That just doesn’t happen so we know this is something that we learned.

If these thoughts amount to something we “picked up” along the way than that also means we can give them back! Most of these negative false beliefs can be attributed to shame (anything that makes us feel less than or not enough) and are given to us by our caregivers.

Now be careful with this. This isn’t about blaming your caregiver. We talked about blame in episode 6, so listen to that if you haven’t already. Everyone always does the very best they can do, under the circumstances, and given the resources available. If you can’t accept this statement as being true then you’re going to find yourself as a victim. This is about understanding where this information came from and returning it!

These thoughts have not served us well and in fact have kept us small. They’ve prevented us from building the relationships we deserve and living out the dreams we’ve had as young children. Our caregivers threw their shame on us because this was the same message they picked up as a young child and likely never had the tools to learn how to change that and heal.

Many “Thought Leaders” will give you advice that you have to “Be Happy” and “Think Positive” to change your life. No, feeling happy has nothing to do with changing your thoughts. Thoughts and feelings are two different things and in fact your feelings depend greatly on your thoughts. So how do we change our thoughts? Well, as it pertains to these false beliefs we give those thoughts back!

How do we do this? First, understand that this exercise is to be done in your mind. You’re not going to confront your caregivers about this. After all, this is your problem to work out in your own mind. This isn’t about blame and it’s not about seeking out apologies, getting revenge, or anything like that. They were doing the best they could even if it was horrible treatment to you.

Find a quiet place where you can spend 5 or 10 minutes to yourself. You can close your eyes before you start the exercise (unless you need to read these notes) as it will help with the process. You’re going to envision yourself standing in a room and you’re going to place a chair in front of you. Place that chair wherever you feel comfortable. It can be a foot in front of you or 20 feet in front of you. Remember this is all in your head so you can get really creative. You’re then going to tell (not invite) the caregiver you want to confront (the one who told you directly or indirectly that you were stupid, ugly, not important, etc.) to sit down.

Once that person is sitting down you’re going to tell them how all those stories they told you about how you weren’t enough were not true. You’re going to tell them how that message hasn’t served you and you’re going to give it back to them. That message that you weren’t smart enough was their story, not yours.

Imagine yourself pulling deep into your belly or chest and giving back all those negative feelings. Picture those feelings and stories being in the form of gook and watch it spew back on to them. Let them take all that stuff back and when you’re done giving it back you’re going to send them on your way.

As you practice this, one thing will become more and more clear. As you respond to the things you do in life you’re going to know very quickly whether it’s based on your own adult thoughts and feelings or based on the lies you received as a child. You’ll get more options in life and become much more self aware.You’ll learn what’s guiding you to take action and that will literally change your life.

Weekly ISA Challenge: Getting Rid of The Lies

1. Become aware when you are having feelings of shame (less than).

2. Remind yourself (with intentional breath) that these are not your feelings but those that got stuck on you from a small age.

3. In your mind bring that person into present time and sit them down. Give them back all of their feelings, acknowledging they’re not yours.

4. Send them off and let them know you’ll bring them back when you need to.

If you’re wondering how this is going to work since this is all in your head, ask yourself where those thoughts of not being enough exist…in your head! This is why this works needs to be an internal process as this is what shapes our life. Of course, for purposes of the podcast and this post I had to keep this as easy to digest as possible. There are more variations of these steps I shared and depending on your personal situation there could be other steps to take.

If you want to stop letting these thoughts get in the way of having the relationships you deserve and from preventing you from living out your dreams please get in touch with me. I offer 1 on 1 Coaching over the phone or Skype and would be honored to walk with you through this journey. Please email me directly and we can talk about what might work best for you.

With Gratitude and Appreciation,

Josh