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The "More-Enough-'N-ers"

I made up a new term a while ago: The “More-Enough-’N-ers.”

I’ve never heard anyone else use it, but I hear people talking about what it refers to all the time.

Here’s what we say. Do you recognize any of these?

The “Mores-”

“I should be more fulfilled.”

“I should be more productive.” “I should be more successful.” “I should be more peaceful.” “I should be more outgoing.” “I should have more friends.”

“I should have more patience.”

“I should be more .”

“I should have more .”

The “Enough's-”

“I’m not strong enough.” “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m not wealthy enough.”

“I’m not a good enough mom/dad.” “I’m not a good enough friend.” “I’m not a good enough cook.”

“I’m not well-spoken enough.”

“I’m not a good enough employee.”

“I’m not thin…pretty…handsome…tall…hard-working…good…enough.” “I’m not enough.”


The “—ers”

“I should be happi-er.” “I should be bett-er.” “I should be kind-er.” “I need to be fast-er.” “I need to try hard-er.” “I need to be brav-er.”

“I need to be funni-er.” “I need to be er.”

These are thoughts that run through our minds from time to time, on various occasions.

There are a couple of things we could say about this pattern of thinking. We could talk about what it means to be “more” or “better” and what’s required to actually be those things, what it would take, and what it would look like when we finally were those things. That’s a great conversation! One I enjoy very much…and if you ever want to talk about how to be more of something, I’m a phone call away.

But here’s what else I think it can mean when we use these words: the “mores, the “enough's,” and the “—ers.” Sometimes when we say these statements to ourselves, about ourselves, thinking how we have to be more of something, declaring we’re not enough in some way, or need to be better somehow, it actually taps into an element of personal shame we entertain about ourselves in some area(s) of our life.

Oftentimes, people associate shame with some significant event or trauma. That can be true sometimes, but shame actually, and more simply, refers to the message that we aren’t “enough” in some way.

I would like to encourage you to consider…maybe you are enough?

Maybe the way you are and how you do things is exactly right, exactly good enough.

Sure, there might be areas in your life you want to improve. I’m all about the growth and development process, both personally and professionally. But day-to-day, what are you saying to yourself?

Are you hard on yourself? Beat yourself up? Judge and shame yourself? Critical of self?

Are you thinking statements about how you should be more, ways you’re not enough, or you should be “ -er” in some way?

Watch out for those messages — The “more-enough-N-ers.”

Here’s the thing: There are plenty of ways we are not accepting ourselves…but we really could. Imagine that! Imagine if the way you thought about yourself was enough. You accepted who you are and how you do things…and liked it. Even when it’s less than perfect, doesn’t look like someone else, or even if someone else doesn’t like it.

We all have flaws. True story! We all make mistakes. So what? We all fall short of the desired outcome sometimes. Yep.

What if that’s ok?

Would it make a difference in your life if you believed it? To determine whether you’re good, even amazing, just the way you are? I’m going to bet it would.

The opposite has an impact on you, though. Did you know that?

Telling yourself you’re not enough doesn’t inspire you to be better. It keeps you stuck. That thought creates feelings of shame or hopelessness and that never leads to productive, exciting changes. And it leaves you constantly striving and rarely satisfied with yourself.

What if both things could be true? You can believe you’re enough AND also look to improve certain things.