I mentor some amazing women, and I know plenty more, and it breaks my heart that so many women believe they are not enough – good enough/ smart enough/ experienced enough/ confident enough… to grow their career, achieve their dreams, or make the difference they feel in their soul is theirs to make.
Part of what’s going on is a mindset of ‘not enoughness’. This belief is an insidious worm burying within, corrupting our view of ourself and our abilities. 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. That something’s fundamentally missing, and until we find it and grab it we’ll never be enough. Coming from this deficit mentality leaves women with reduced joy. We become even harder on ourselves, focusing on the perceived gaps, because we are never enough!
This scarcity thinking is a real trap, and it prevents women from owning their abilities, and leading with power.
I remember earlier in my career I was told that I just wasn’t ‘professional’ enough. I needed to be ‘more corporate’. The truth was ‘not professional enough’ was code for ‘too female’ and ‘not quite like us’, and though I knew it at the time I couldn’t ignore it. I felt trapped because at some level I believed it.
So I took this advice to heart and slowly began to change. I suited up. I became more mainstream. I stopped talking about the human spirit and the potential of these times to rise. I became more outwardly conservative, trying to fit in. 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. I doubted myself and gave more credence to what I thought others wanted. I didn’t think I was good enough as I was, to lead.
Over time I realised this was a price I wasn’t prepared to pay. In the years since I gave up ‘not ____ 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 let’s start listening out for enoughness – within yourself and others. Ask the women in your life what dreams they have, and, share yours. See how you might support them. 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!