7 Steps for Overcoming “I Am Not Enough”

By June 21, 2016 No Comments

Do you have the recurring thought or feeling of not enough? Not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough, etc? If so, you are definitely not alone. Most people, especially women, are in this camp. I am one of them.

Recently I had one of my newsletter readers send me an email about this topic. She had some profound questions. She said, “It’s one thing to have awareness that you have the belief, I’m not enough, and it’s another thing to know where it came from, yet another to envision what your life would be like if you didn’t have that belief… but how do you actually change the belief?”

My response was that it’s a process. Our limiting beliefs formed early in childhood and have had a lifetime of living in our psyches and being acted out on a daily basis. It has taken time and repeated effort to fully engrain the beliefs of not enough-ness.

In order to eliminate a belief, which is a repeated thought, a reprogramming must occur. The way I work with clients and what I do myself is to first bring awareness to the limiting belief and then work on building the muscle of forming a new, more fitting belief. Below I offer some suggestions on ridding yourself of your false belief and replacing it with a truer one.

In no special order, here are 7 steps I’ve identified to help you:

1. Look for the proof that you are enough. If you believe you are not enough, you will continue to look for the evidence that supports your belief and you will find it. When you change the thought around that you are enough and begin to look for the proof, you will find it. Shift your focus.

Along with looking for the proof that you are enough, ask yourself the question, “Why am I enough?” Then begin to look in your answers for proof to back it up . For instance, I might answer the question like this: I am enough because my children love me, my family loves me, I help people and I have done a lot of good things in my life. Now I will begin to look for proof these statements are true. I’ll look to my past and also to this moment for the ways in which my family loves me, I have helped people,etc.

In this moment, I might ask… How do I know my family loves me? Then I begin to list the ways my family loves me (ie. they tell me they do, they hug and kiss me, they are there for me, they offer support whenever they can, etc.). This evidence which backs up my claim that my family loves me, further affirms for me the idea that I am enough. Make sense?

2. Accept your whole self even when you feel you’re not enough. We can have confidence in certain areas of our life yet not in others. If you focus on your perceived weaknesses then you will always feel less than. We all have limitations and when you recognize that your strengths can be your weaknesses and vice versa, you can then accept that you are a perfectly imperfect human being just as you are.

Stop comparing yourself to others because you are setting yourself up for failure. You don’t need to measure up to anyone, just be your best self and accept that you have areas to transform.

3. Focus on your strengths. Focus on your strengths because we all have them and when you focus on what you do well/are strong in, it’s going to build your confidence. Knowing you’re weaker in certain areas doesn’t mean you’re not enough. It just means you’re weaker in certain areas.

So if you accept that you have strengths and weaknesses and you’re ok with that, then you know that you’re always enough.

4. Get into Action. Challenge the belief you are not good enough. Not only do you look for the ways you are enough, but continually challenge yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do, and things that are scary, and things that make you uncomfortable and that will expand you.

The best way to gain confidence is to get into action and keep moving forward. The more action you take, the more proof you will have that you in fact are capable and that will build your confidence, step by step.

5. Prioritize yourself and your self-care. Make yourself a priority and take good care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Look for ways in which you are lacking self-care and begin to implement practices that will make you feel like you matter. Do things that will rejuvenate you and have you feeling really good.

Sometimes it’s just about changing your priorities and changing your mood. When we do loving and kind things for ourselves, it can completely change how we feel about ourselves on the inside. You deserve this and it’s necessary… not selfish.

6. Call in your reinforcements. When you surround yourself with people who see you in all your potential, strength and beauty, they can help reinforce your newly forming beliefs that you are enough. That is how they see you and make you feel. When we hang out with Negative Nellie’s and people who are highly critical and like the people who helped you form the negative belief in the first place, they are likely to continually reinforce that limiting belief for you.

So surround yourself with people who are supportive and who see you in all your strength and glory. When you surround yourself, both personally and professionally, with people who get you and who are positive and reinforce your strengths, then you have that outside validation we all seek, that you are enough.

7. Align with your purpose. When you have a vision and purpose that is bigger than you and believe you’re here to make a difference that you feel really passionate about, it’s no longer about you. The focus can be turned to your bigger purpose and impact rather than making it about you. When you are on purpose and fulfilling your call to something greater, your “gremlins” or limiting beliefs, don’t stand a chance. Eventually, your not enough-ness fades away because you are truly making a difference. I believe that is why we are all here anyway.

8. Bonus Step. Rinse and repeat until you form a new belief with continual reinforcements. You might be saying, “This sounds good Justine, but will it really work?” And I say to you, “It has worked for me and many of my clients. The key is in the practice of it (the doing).” It is not enough to intellectualize it in your mind. You must take action and do the steps and repeat as often as necessary.

Be patient and be compassionate with yourself. It has taken you a lifetime to ingrain this belief that you are not enough. You can overcome and replace it with new beliefs much faster by doing the work.

I know you are enough and I want you to know that too.

Much love,


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JUSTINE ARIAN, CPCC Certified Professional Co-Active Coach

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