Too many women believe that “I’m not (good/smart/experienced/confident) enough… to grow my career or make the difference I can in the way I know I have the potential for.
This mindset of ‘not enoughness’ is an insidious worm burying within, corrupting our health and integrity. Believing We Are Not Enough feeds a pervasive narrative that women need to be fixed or made better to be able to lead and reach our potential. This makes us particularly hard on ourselves, and we focus on the perceived gaps, because we are never enough.
This scarcity thinking is a real trap and it prevents us from owning our abilities and leading with authority and humility.
I remember earlier in my career I was advised that I just wasn’t ‘professional’ enough. I needed to be ‘more corporate’. The truth was ‘not professional enough’ was code for not manlike enough, and though I knew it at the time I couldn’t break free from its thrall.
So I took this advice to heart and slowly began to change. I suited up. I became more mainstream. I stopped talking about love and the human spirit and the potential of these times to rise. I became more corporate. And I just died inside.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t become more effective and better at my job. Instead I lost something because at some level I believed the myth that who I was wasn’t enough and I needed to be some other way.
Now I’m not arguing against the value of further education, or coaching etc. We all need this to grow and flourish. That’s not what this was about. In the years since I gave up ‘not professional enough’ and I owned that I AM ENOUGH – something changed for me. I could tap into my deep reservoir of confidence and lead with compassion and inclusion.
For women, owning that ‘We Are Enough’ is radical and liberating.
We really are enough – intrinsically, and we have enough to lead, to serve, to love – just how we are. We are not missing any inherent piece. We are not flawed or ‘less than’. As human beings, we are not lacking in the deepest sense.
And while we all need additional help and support from time to time, it is not because we are coming from an inherent place of scarcity, lack or worthlessness.
So tap a woman today and tell them ‘You are enough!’
Ask them what dreams they have, and how you might support them. Is it a promotion? Do they want to bring water to their village? Listen for their capacity and call BS on a story of internal lack. Let’s start a fire of ‘enoughness’ and spread it with love and compassion!
This letter was written for International Women’s Day in generous recognition of the countless women I worked with and met around the world who embodied ‘being enough’. Even with the very real lack (of education, freedom of movement, domestic safety etc) they Are Enough every day to rise, feed their families and make their world a better place.