I see a lot in personal development, speeches, or even Facebook memes, the encouragement for us to think and believe that we are enough as it is. Great. For me, for a long time, that meant raising my evaluation of myself, to believe that it actually meets some kind of threshold that is “enough”.
If my inner standard is that “enough” is about a 7 on the enough scale (yes, there is such a thing). Then believing I am enough would be changing my belief from I’m a 5 to I’m a 7. Like that, just because Facebook meme said so. It’s called “raising your self-confidence” or something.
And while self-confidence is important, there might be another way of going at it:
Making “enough" irrelevant. Thus making “not enough” irrelevant as well. And if it’s irrelevant, I will never be “not enough” ever again. Let’s just scratch the whole thing altogether.
How? Why? What does it matter?
What if, instead of shifting my belief from “I’m not enough” (I’m a 5), to “I’m enough” (I declared I was now a 7), I shifted to “I’m enough because even if I was a 2 it would be enough”. HA-HA! Get it?
And I would be enough for what? For everything. To make a difference in the world. To love and be loved in return. To live a fulfilling life. To do the things I love. Make money. Be brave and be kind. Everything that matters.
I keep seeing videos of 8 year-old kids doing amazing things. This one is sewing teddy bears for the sick kids, this one is making extraordinary paintings, this one is building houses (HOUSES, people) for the homeless, etc. And while you could argue that these kids are the exception (which they are), and that they are braver and smarter than you and me (which they probably are), I don’t think that’s the key here. It’s not about resources, whether intellectual or financial. It’s not about their family (otherwise their siblings would do the same). It’s not even about their self-confidence.
In my opinion, the key is that, somehow, they hold the belief that WHAT THEY DO MATTERS. They think they are enough to make a difference, for the simple reason that there is no minimum requirement of enoughness to make a difference. They don’t think they’re better or smarter, they just didn’t set the bar that until they were a 7 on the enough scale, there was no point in doing anything. They’re just kids. They don’t have money or power. They don’t own a house or a car, or anything really. Parents and teachers tell them what to do all day. In adult land, that would be considered a 2!
I’m not ahead on that topic. Actually I just discovered it. I still get tripped up by my self-imposed limits of what I can do, or the excuses of “when I have more money”, “when I’m done with this”, etc. But hey, if what I do matter, taking the time to acknowledge and shift my beliefs matters too.
By not putting a standard on how much is enough and just doing it, these kids end up doing amazing things. The key is not what resources they have or think they have. The key is they believe that what they do makes a difference, however small. And it ends up making a big one.
For one, they make me look forward to a future they will be a part of. And that’s huge.