Today I started reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, a book that talks about why we need to allow ourselves to feel vulnerable to lead more rewarding lives. It’s been given to me as homework from my psychologist.
In one of the early chapters it talks about how our modern lives revolve around the perception that we don’t have enough. Our initial thoughts when we wake up are that we haven’t had enough sleep, and our last thought before bed is that we didn’t have enough time to achieve everything we wanted to do that day.
This really resonates with me. I’m a self-confessed over-achiever and perfectionist who always tries to improve her life (unnecessarily, I’m sure). I’m intrigued by this ‘not enough concept and I’m keen to recognise when I use it throughout my day.
Just in the last hour, I’ve thought:
- I didn’t help enough with the child today
- I wasn’t grateful enough for everything my husband’s been doing
- I didn’t achieve enough today
- I wasn’t healthy enough for the growing baby inside me
- I didn’t exercise enough
- I didn’t give the dog enough attention
This is a pretty long list for just the last hour and these are some pretty terrible thoughts when written out like that. These are all the thoughts that Russ Harris in The Happiness Trap classed as unhelpful. These are all the thoughts that I should acknowledge then send on their way. But did I do that? No. The last few days have been particularly stressful and I quickly fell into my old ways.
Brené Brown states that the opposite of ‘not enough’ isn’t abundance. The opposite of ‘not enough’ is simply ‘enough’. In my list above, who is the judge of whether ‘enough’ is ‘not enough’? Me, and only me. No one else commented today that I didn’t do enough of the things above.
I am seriously my own worst enemy.
So I will keep reading the book.