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How to Believe You Are Enough

What is enough? How do you measure what you do and if it is enough for you?

Acceptance does not mean not to strive to be greater. If you strive for more without accepting yourself in the absence of what you think you lack, then you will see yourself as enough no matter how much you gain. By accepting yourself right now, as you are, you can and will still strive to grow.

When you do not feel good about yourself, often it is because you feel that you are being watched and judged. Obviously, this decreases your sense of self-worth. This negative cycle tends to repeat itself, filled with a sense of being under-valued and shamed by both yourself and others.

Each daily requirement of ‘enough’ may be different, and yet, should be celebrated.

 

Here are some ways to refocus your thinking and love yourself:

1. Erase the Need to Compare.

When you compare yourself, you feel undervalued and less than.

In order to connect with others, it is imperative that you first know your strengths and positive qualities. Make a list of your positive qualities and accomplishments. Start a conversation with others and ask for their input if you are stuck.

Do not agree to things just so that you can avoid conflict. Find a way to understand and validate one another. Everyone has a right to their own perspective and opinion.

2. Have a Conversation with Your Inner Critic.

Your inner critic is made up of the negative self-talk that you actually heard from childhood and have internalized, such as “you need to work harder” or “people won’t like you if you do that”.

Retrain your inner critic so it shifts into a coach that can challenge you, without putting you down. Remember, if you do not think you are enough, you will deprive yourself of opportunities because you do not think you are worthy of them.

When you hear yourself making these negative judgments, catch yourself and change it up to a supportive, positive voice instead. You deserve it.

3. Choose Self-Empowering Language.

When you tell yourself that you ‘should’ do/ be/ feel something, you are placing a requirement upon yourself.

Instead, choose to do what you want to do. Rather than feeling obligated to do something, this choice provides empowerment and freedom.

4. Be Authentic.

If you are honest with yourself, what are you feeling?

What is hard about being honest with others about your feelings?

What could change if you were able to communicate your feelings?

If you want to have an intimate connection with someone, being open and honest about your thoughts and feelings is necessary. Being yourself allows the other person to know and appreciate who you truly are.

So, challenge yourself to be open to saying, “I really need to talk about something.”

5. Identify Your Wants and Needs.

Needs are usually something that is important to us, whereas wants are preferences and not quite as important as needs.

Conflict arises when two people want different things. If you don’t feel good enough, you may not value yourself enough to see your wants as important. You may be confused and think that one of your needs is just an unimportant want.

Then, you may dismiss your need as not important enough. So you won’t ask for what you need and you will feel threatened to speak up for yourself because you fear the other will leave you.

6. Love and Accept Yourself.

Unconditional love means you love yourself no matter what. It means you do not allow yourself to judge yourself.

You are enough, and you do not have to prove yourself. You are not loved for what you do. You are loved for who you are.

Having good personal boundaries is an effective way of loving and taking care of yourself. Validation and approval must come from yourself, not others.

Take some of these statements, and practice them in the mirror, or in your journal/ diary… until they start to feel more true to you.

7. Practice Self-Care.

When you feel good about who you are and you feel worthy, you naturally take better care of yourself.

Take a close look at how you are living. Are you taking time for the things that bring you joy? Are you eating and moving, and as a result, feeling healthy and energized? Are you sleeping enough?

The simple and most basic needs help us to feel recharged and happy. Gift them to you!

Life can be overwhelming, and number one to take care of is you.

We can help you develop tools to build self-love and acceptance. To learn more about self-esteem counselling at Balanced Mind and Wellness Inc., contact us at info@balancedmindandwellness.com, or 647-961-9669.

Drawing the Line in the Sand: Boundary Setting (Part 1)

“Boundaries. What are those?” That was the first question I had for my therapist when she asked about how I set boundaries with those in my life.

My interpretation of boundaries is that they are ways we communicate to others what we are comfortable with or not and what we need. Boundaries can be put into 4 groups:

  1. Soft: this can also be known as permissible boundaries where we allow others to determine the lines of the boundaries for us
  2. Spongy: this is a mix between soft and rigid boundaries where an individual can become unsure of what to let in or keep out
  3. Rigid: this can be thought of like having a wall that doesn’t allow anyone in
  4. Flexible: this type of boundary setting involves an individual who takes control over what they allow in or keep out

 

Different boundaries can be set for different relationships. Setting boundaries can be thought of as “how do we ask for what we need or say ‘no’ when we need to?” Here are some things to consider when it comes to setting boundaries:

 

  • When to assert and keep asking for what you need (if your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then ask more firmly):

    • Is the person able to give you what you want?
    • Is what you want appropriate to the current relationship?
    • Will not asking for what you want keep the peace now but create problems in the long run?
    • What have you done for the person? Are you giving at least as much as you ask for? Are you willing to give if the person says yes?
    • Do you know all the facts you need to know to support your request? Are you clear about what you want?
    • Is this a good time to ask? Is the person “in the mood” for listening and paying attention to you? Are you catching the person when he or she is likely to say yes to your request?

 

  • When to say ‘no’ (if your answers are ‘no’ to these questions, assert your ‘no’):

    • Will saying no make you feel bad about yourself, even when you are thinking about it wisely?
    • Are you required to give the person what he or she is asking for? Would saying no violate the other person’s rights?
    • Does the person have authority over you (e.g., your boss, your teacher)? And is what the person is asking within his or her authority?
    • Is what the person is asking for appropriate to your current relationship?
    • Is giving in to keep the peace right now more important than the long-term welfare of the relationship? Will you eventually regret or resent saying no?
    • Do you owe this person a favour? Does he or she do a lot for you?
    • Is the other person’s request clear? Do you know what you are agreeing to?
    • Is this a bad time to say no? Should you hold off answering for a while?

 

In part 2 and 3 of this blog, we’ll be talking about how to ask for what you need and how to say ‘no’. It can be helpful to have a therapist to support with these skills as they can help you practice and give you feedback to improve in asking for what you need and saying ‘no’ when you need to.

 

To learn more about how we can support you with parenting concerns, contact Vivian Zhang at vivian@balancedmindandwellness.com.

Content from this blog post is adapted from DBT Skills Training: Handouts and Worksheets (Linehan, 2015).