There’s a little seemingly harmless 6 letter word in the English language that I have grown to despise with all of my being–
After 30 years of being a woman on this earth I’ve heard too many people (women especially) and myself use this word over and over and over again as part of this all too common question:
AM I ____________ ENOUGH?
Personally, I’ve let this simple word stop me so many times from pursuing my dreams as I waited for…
- A boss to tell me I was smart enough for a promotion I held myself back from
- A man to tell me I was worthy enough to be loved
- A mentor to tell me I was talented enough to be worth his time I so desperately valued
- A friend to tell me I was funny enough to spend time with
- A world to tell me I was beautiful enough so I could stop abusing my body in pursuit of a size
And you know what? Those things never came. Instead, the lightbulb came where I realized I am the only one who can truly decide I am smart, I am worthy, I am talented, I am funny, I am beautiful…the list goes on. JUST ME. And then strangely enough, when you claim those things for yourself…they come into being.
It’s only natural that we want others to praise us. To validate our worth. To pat us on the head and tell us how good we are. Even go so far as to wait for them to give us permission to do that thing that we are questioning our enough-ness to do. FORGET THAT. I want you to tell yourself how amazing you are. I want you to validate yourself internally and stop seeking it from external sources. I want you to give yourself permission to pursue that thing you’re questioning. You are so capable and so worthy.
So with that I give you the ENOUGH PROJECT. Because…well frankly, I’ve HAD ENOUGH. I’ve had enough of holding myself back from my dreams and of watching some of the most talented, intelligent female friends and leaders I’ve ever known do the same. As one of my awesome mentors dubs it—“Woman Disease.”
So are you ready to cure it with me? Time to rise up. CLAIM your own power. Get after your dreams. You are enough. You are ready. Right here. Right now. I’m daring people (but especially women) everywhere throughout the world to be a little bit counter culture–to CELEBRATE yourself and decide that you are SO UNBELIEVABLY ENOUGH already just as you are today.
Your Personal ENOUGH Project
STEP 1: Write yourself a letter (email or send it to me too) of all the reasons you are ENOUGH. You’re scared already, aren’t you? Come on…love on yourself a little! I DARE YOU. Tell me why you are a bad ass. Tell me why you deserve to be celebrated for your power, your abilities, your talents, your beauty, your strengths, your skills and all of the fabulousness you already possess. Got it? Good.
Please, please email these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY SHOULD I?
- Nothing would make me happier than to celebrate your awesomeness with you!
- I’ll send your letter back to you on whatever date you request in 2017 OR I’ll pick a random date when you might need an extra reminder.
Also, let me know if you are OK with me profiling you & sharing your letter on the blog! YOU could be that inspiration for another person to CLAIM their enough-ness.
STEP 2: Stop using that word (ENOUGH. YUCK!) when evaluating your worthiness. The next time you find yourself asking questions like “Am I courageous enough to launch my own business? Am I talented enough to pursue that promotion? Am I good enough at my job to ask for that raise?” I want you to drop that last little jacked up word off the end. Simply ask yourself–
- Am I courageous?
- Am I talented?
- Am I good?
Doesn’t it make the answer so much clearer? YES! YES! YES! What power can be realized when we stop using this word when making decisions.
STEP 3: Give yourself and others permission to STOP DOING THINGS PERFECTLY. Perfection is this jacked up thing that has prevented myself and so many other talented individuals I know from doing what they desperately want to be doing. So stop it already. Seriously. JUST STOP pursuing perfection. Instead I want you to dare yourself to do things just a little less than perfect. Go for a less than perfect workout at the gym. Decorate your Christmas tree a little less than perfect. Launch your website or publish that blog post with a few flaws in it. Hell, launch your business with some kinks left to iron out. I dare you to RISK IT a little—
- RISK failure (because it could also end up in SUCCESS!)
- RISK getting told no (because the answer could also be YES!)
- RISK heading down the wrong path (because it could also be the RIGHT ONE!)
What’s ONE thing you can and will do less than perfect in the next week?
STEP 4: Tell a woman you know they’re ENOUGH and READY to go for it. The next time any woman questions her enough-ness or you see her falling into the “perfect” trap, I want you to drop everything you are doing. Literally. Drop everything. This is a big moment here. Look her dead in the eyes. Then say “ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH! GO FOR IT!” Ok, maybe soften it a little adding something like “I want you to know you are enough just as you are and you are BEYOND capable of doing this thing you want to do. But more importantly, YOU need to believe you’re enough. Let me send you a blog post with a first step on how to help you believe this.” Then send her to this blog post and make her write that letter to herself. 🙂
Now time to put my thoughts where my mouth is…here’s “Why I’m Enough” slash Letter Celebrating My Awesomeness—
It’s been a tough week. You’re tired of being sick (2 months and counting). And you tried some things in your business that didn’t work like you’d hoped. You’re feeling a little sad and disappointed in yourself. So now felt like as good a time as ever to take your own advice that you give clients and write a love letter to you on all the reasons you are fabulous! Here’s just a few reasons why you are already SO MUCH MORE than “enough”–
- You take risks. You quit your job, you’re attempting to start a business based on your passion & helping others, you create fellowships that aren’t there, you started a blog! These past types of risks have paid off for you–you met your husband after putting yourself out there. You’ve identified not once but twice that you were in a job that wasn’t supporting you in living your values and you made a change. You aren’t afraid to reach out to complete strangers asking them for coffee & entrepreneurial/life advice.
- You stand up for what you think is right. You don’t back down from a challenge. You are firm and courageous in your beliefs for women’s rights, equity across genders and races, etc. People know that they can count on you to do what is right by others.
- You push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You weren’t a runner until 22. And then you ran 4 flipping Marathons! You went from a 5k to a Marathon in a year. That’s insane. You didn’t know how to swim so you learned as an adult. Why? Because you wanted to do a freaking IRONMAN triathlon. And you freaking did it. Because you. are. just. that. awesome.
- You care about other people on a whole new level. You are beyond kind and generous with your time toward mentees, friends, family. You spent summers in high school teaching English in Latvia. You spent J-term breaks in college going on social justice outreach trips teaching in classrooms in the Southern states after Hurricane Katrina and again in Mississippi. You’ve helped coach countless people to promotions in Corporate America and their dreams outside it. Now you’re loving spending time with Ale and with each of your clients. You babysit for free, you make meals for friends, you gift house cleaners to stressed friends. You donate thousands to St. Kate’s and Jeremiah Program each year. You genuinely want the world to be a better place and challenge yourself to SPARK the change. Hell, you’re even working to become a foster parent.
- You are a smart, classy & talented businesswoman. You graduated top 10 in your class for both high school and college. You were even a finalist for a full ride scholarship. You’ve worked for 4 different Fortune 300 companies in 10 years. Wow. You got into military bases that sales reps who’d been in the business for 20+ years couldn’t get into. You drove a 1% sales growth rate in a market that was -18% during the recession. Umm…yeah. That was damn near a miracle. You got promoted 4 times in 5 years working for a corporation. Don’t go all impostor syndrome on me right now. People are smart. You didn’t fool them. YOU earned those promotions through results. Straight up. Own that. In retail you delivered kick ass seasons, saved the company millions and millions of dollars in expenses, delivered a killer new brand launch, developed at least a dozen people to their next role promotions…some of whom didn’t even report to you. You developed and delivered on countless strategies that were literally award-winning leading large teams of people to exceptional results balancing care for them as people with care for the business.
- You persevere through adversity. You got told to sign up for a writing tutor your freshman year of college. Remember that? Ugh. Painful, right? Well you still graduated top 10 and summa cum laude for your graduating class. You got told no countless times in sales. You still found a way to get into the military installations. You got laid off. And you found another job in <3 weeks. You had setbacks financially as you worked to become debt free—you didn’t let that stop you. You got tendonitis while training for your first marathon. You still made it work. You’ve had people drop you from their mentorship without explaining why but kept moving forward getting after your goals.
- You know your values and live them daily. Health, Family, Kindness, Spirituality and Learning. You ask yourself everyday how you can do better in living a life closer to these values and you TAKE ACTION against it. In fact…
- What I love & respect most about you? Your bias toward ACTION. This is 100% your differentiator and clear advantage. Some people talk a big game. Some people dream a big dream. You though? You freaking go out and GET that dream. You have a bias toward action like no one else on the entire planet. You are a MOVER and a SHAKER. You MAKE THINGS HAPPEN for yourself and for others. You wanted to pay for college on your own & with minimal debt. So you found a way and did it. You wanted to meet a wonderful man. So you did. You wanted to get that wonderful man out of consumer debt so you did. You wanted to run a marathon. So you did. You wanted to do an Ironman. So you did. You wanted to be an entrepreneur. So you are. No one else has the conviction you have to make things happen.
Yourself, The Unapologetic Feminist