I recently read a novel* in which a character makes a Faustian bargain. What he wants, more than anything, more than his life, is to feel like enough. And so, he trades his soul for a year of “enough-ness”.
And suddenly, everyone he meets wants to be around him and wants to give him their attention. It’s such a dramatic change that he feels overwhelmed. He also notices a fog in people’s eyes. When he asks them what they see in him, their responses vary wildly. In fact, many people name qualities that he know he doesn’t have. They are all projecting their own standards of what enough means.
So while adored, he remains unseen. The unwavering attention of others now feels hollow and burdensome. Worse than actually being seen for his imperfect self.
Feeling “not enough” is one of the most common themes that people ask for help with. If this is your struggle, I encourage you to ask yourself a couple of questions:
1) What standards are you using to assess your own “enough-ness”? Are they realistic? Preferable? Fair?
2) Who decides if you are enough? Are you outsourcing that assessment? If so, what qualifies others to make that determination?
*The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab