If you are soulful, smart, deep-thinking and deep-feeling, you’ve probably at one time or another felt that your work isn’t good enough, and that you’re not a good enough practitioner (or good enough to become a practitioner).
I’ll share with you that I am no stranger to this feeling.
Not by a long shot.
Even with my decades of being a coach, ritualist, mentor and transformational leader,
even having served literally thousands of people,
even with hundreds and hundreds of happy client testimonials,
even with clients and students messaging me nearly every day to express their gratitude,
and even though I have dedicated my career to teaching others how to be masterful, transformational and effective practitioners…
…I still sometimes find myself questioning if I am good enough, fearing that I’m fraud, wondering if I’ve disappointed those who have hired me.
It used to be that on any given day, it wouldn’t matter how many clients reflect back to me how much they appreciate the work we do together…the deep well of feeling validated could never really be filled.
The wonderful client reflection might have filled that well of feeling validated for a moment, allowing me to breathe easy right then and there, but it would quickly drain out, leaving me once again to question – to be in agony, really – about whether or not I was good enough…and to need the next set of external validations to soothe my fears.
These days, my well of feeling validated stays fuller for much, much longer periods of time, and even in the moments it does drain, it never quite drains all the way to the bottom. The big progress I’ve made in this allows me so much more freedom, so much more well-being, so much more belief in myself, and so much more joy in my interactions with clients and prospects.
But the progress has been hard won. It has taken real work & persistence on my part over the last decade & a half to earn the internal feeling of “enoughness”, to not worry all the time that I’m sorely missing the mark.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some things that I’ve learned on my journey that I hope will help:
1. Clearly Assess & Acknowledge Your Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s easy to fall into the “Not Good Enough” vortex if you haven’t clearly assessed what you’re doing really well by way of client work and what’s not going as well as you’d like. That’s because when you don’t articulate this, the things that aren’t going so well tend to become bigger and more blatant in your mind then all the things that are. When you assess, you get to see face-to-face all the ways you are really amazing and brilliant, all the things that are working really well. And you get to TAKE THEM IN. DEEPLY. You may also find a few places that aren’t working the way you’d like, but when you consider those gaps as part of the whole picture, the gaps become more manageable and less likely to grow out of control in your worries.
2. Befriend Your Fears
One way that the “well of not good enough” shows up is as a fear. Most people, when they feel fear, reject the fear: Run away from the fear or judge the fear or hate on the fear or sweep it under the rug. All of these strategies results in….the fear getting even bigger and even more severe. A better strategy? Befriend your Fear, as we call it in Sacred Depths. Yup, make friends with the fear. The more you can lean into it, befriend it, be in communication with it, the less it will fester and be something that stands in your way.
3. Work on the Shadows of Enoughness
Never underestimate the power of the Shadows that you hold inside of you. If you persistently find your well of not being good empty, chances are there is an important part of yourself you’ve put into the Shadow: the part of you that is really BIG and more than enough. When you work to bring the Shadow out of the blindspot, everything changes. You get to finally fully own your brilliance & your talents and your BIGness, and stop hanging out in that feeling of never quite making the mark.
4. Take Testimonials Seriously
While of course, self-validation is 110% necessary and vital in order to feel good about yourself, your performance, and what you bring to the table, don’t disregard the power of deeply taking in the testimonials, the positive feedback, and the words of gratitude from happy clients and students…or even from friends and colleagues who reflect to you your brilliance. When we’re in the vortex and shadow of not feeling good enough, we tend to not really take in on a cellular level the wonderful reflections about our work that we get. Make a conscious effort to deeply and seriously take in all of the kudos you receive. It makes a huge difference.
5. Be on a Life Long Journey of Mastery
It is a fact that a high percentage of the most masterful, transformational, and effective practitioners are ones who understand that they never “arrive” at the height of their mastery, but instead are on a continuous journey towards their evolution as a transformational leader. I consistently look for ways to improve my skills, my techniques, and all the ways I am showing up to support my clients. The trick is to not fall into the trap of believing that “once I learn one more thing” then you’ll be doing your best work. Instead, understand that you are already amazing, and you are on a journey of deepening and deepening.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this. How does your not-enoughness show up? How does it impact you? How do you handle it?
And…if you desire to learn how to work with Shadow and Enoughness, not just for yourself, but with your clients, Into the Depths: Advanced Shadow, Ritual and Facilitation Training is opening up again soon. Be on the lookout (or get in touch for early information)!