There is a voice, I believe we all possess, that shines a bright spotlight on hidden insecurities and often serves up an unhealthy dose of lies. While sometimes distant, other times it is so loud that it seems impossible to drown the noise. This voice does not discriminate. It spans all educational and socioeconomic levels and could care less how successful you think you are, where you work or live, or who you know. While triggered by seemingly insignificant situations, the power is undeniable and the message is crystal clear - you are not enough!
Trying on clothes and they don't fit, "I am not thin enough". Looking in the mirror and seeing wrinkles, "I am not young enough". Seeing a friend that is better dressed or more polished, "I am not pretty enough". Driving the wrong car or living in the wrong neighborhood, "I am not successful enough". Comparing someone else's life to your own, "I am simply not enough". The truth is that it is so easy to see the surface and make assumptions about people and their situations, we've all done it. However, our perception of people and situations is often a powerful lens that distorts our vision. We judge people we don't know, label them based on our perception, and then punish ourselves because we are not them - a vicious cycle.
It's time to stop judging ourselves against perfection, it doesn't exist! Start giving yourself the grace you deserve, you have done the very best you can do. By the way, if you are not gentle with yourself, you are giving others permission to do the same. I think we spend too much time worrying about loving and protecting others and not nearly enough time focused on loving and protecting ourselves. Loving yourself is not a selfish act, it is a gift you give yourself so you have enough love to share with others. It's time to raise your voice and elevate the message you are delivering to yourself, it will change your life!