Since becoming a mum, I've had a sneaky little visitor creeping up on me from time to time. This unwanted guest is a crippling, destructive force and I would bet that most mums have had a visit.
It's a feeling of "not-enoughness". Yes I made that term up. Feeling like you're not enough can take so many forms. Not a good enough mum. Not a good enough wife or partner. Not a good enough cook. Not a good enough friend. Not a good enough daughter. Not a good enough sister. Not a good enough employee. Not a good enough business owner (heyo! I feel this one). You get the picture.
I've been spending a bit of time considering my personal feelings of not-enoughness lately. While there are deep unresolved issues that would best be teased out with a therapist underpinning it, there are also things that crop up day to day that stoke the fires and feed the little monster.
As a business owner and mum, I'm constantly presented with a juggling act. This juggling act is familiar to so many of us, whether we work, run our own businesses or stay home and do the important work of looking after our children. If I'm working on my business, my daughter is at daycare. If my daughter is with me, I'm not working on my business. Either way something is being neglected, and it hurts. It hurts to have to choose.
Enter the feeling of not being enough, and you've got the perfect storm for just wanting to crawl into a hole and hide.
But the thing is, we can do things to keep our feelings of not being enough at bay. It is, after all, just a perception. Because you ARE enough. You are so much more than enough. I wanted to share a few things I've started doing as a way to push through the tough days and remind myself that I am enough.
1. Harnessing the power of affirmations
I've written about affirmations here before, but I'm going to repeat it because it's just so powerful. Affirmations WORK! When you create a visualisation of yourself doing something, it activates the same areas of the brain that would activate if you were actually in that situation. Amazing huh?
So if we think of affirmations as training, we're taking our brains to the gym every time we repeat an affirmation. We're affirming something that we know deep down to be true. By affirming the truth, we're negating the lies.
You've got to be consistent though. You can't let yourself slip into old habits! I've been wearing my affirmation necklace every day (I never take it off) and every time I look in the mirror or feel it bump against me I think "I am enough". Because it's engraved right there for me to see at any moment of the day.
If jewellery isn't your thing, write your affirmation on your mirror in lipstick. Or on a piece of paper with a broken crayon (mum life am I right?) and stick it somewhere you'll see it every day. Preferably multiple times a day.
2. Cuddling my child
Have you ever cuddled your child and realised that you needed that hug a whole lot more than they did? It's the best kind of boost there is. Your little human thinks you are the best thing ever. You're the whole world. I'm not sure if there's anything more ego boosting than that.
Seriously though, hugging releases oxytocin which if you're a mum, you know all about! Oxytocin has been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress hormones in women, so that's always going to be a win (unless your blood pressure is already super low - no hugs for you! Kidding!).
In those moments when you're feeling overwhelmed, not enough and like you can't do anything right, having those little arms wrap around you and that little head on your shoulder can make everything right in the world again.
3. Self care, self care, self care!
Self care looks a little different for all of us, but it is SO important. It can be so easy to neglect yourself when you're a mum, working or running a business, trying to be a good partner, trying to take care of extended family or whatever other plates you're spinning.
But you know, it may sound cheesy but the old adage "You can't pour from an empty cup" is so, so true. If you're feeling depleted and not in a good space mentally, you're not going to be able to give the best of yourself. There's a reason they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the safety video on planes.
Do something for you every single day. It doesn't have to be big, but you do need to do it. Maybe it's sitting down to have a cup of tea and scroll through TikTok for a while. Or maybe it's having a nice hot bath. Whatever it is, make the time for yourself because you are so worthy of the time.I hope that if you're struggling with feeling like you're not enough that these tips can help you. All women deserve to feel empowered and encouraged, and you are no exception.
Remember, you are enough. You are so much more than enough. It's RIDICULOUS how enough you are!