I lived my entire life questioning if I am enough. Am I smart enough? Pretty enough? Capable enough? The constant need for acceptance and admiration paralyzed me. I would give up before I had even tried because the thought of failing to satisfy my thirst for approval terrified me. This mentality held me from pursuing dreams and following passions. It held me from reaching my full potential and it painted my world in the darkest colors. I desperately needed to reach emotional freedom.

Why do we allow others to decide our worth?

The biggest mistake anyone can make is to place their worthiness in other people’s hands. Yet we all do it one way or another. Perhaps it has to do with the way we are raised. We grow up learning our worth depends on intellectual capacity, grades, level of extroversion, beauty ideals and social class. Our worth is measured by the way others perceive us. And when we don’t fit into the ideal box we grow self-conscious, lose trust in our abilities and become the people others want us to be. The people who trudge their way to a job they hate, or stay in an unfulfilling relationship because they don’t believe they are valuable enough to deserve better.

emotional freedom

How do we break free from self-sabotage?

We break free from self-sabotage by silencing the voices that tell us we can’t. By breaking the ceilings you’re told are unbreakable and by looking inward to find your worth. Along the way you’ll learn, if you allow yourself to try, you have so much to offer.

When you let yourself think, feel and speak without fear of judgement or disapproval, you understand how valuable you are. As cliché as this may sound, there is only one “you” and comparing yourself to someone else is self-defeating. Your strengths are others’ weaknesses and vice versa. So don’t persuade yourself to believe you have nothing worthwhile to give.

How does one reach the “I am enough” state of mind?

I reached this state of mind when I understood I belonged to myself and I was unlike anyone else. And I believed I was enough when I stopped allowing others to define me or label me. Emotional, physical and intellectual beauty truly are in the eye of the beholder. So surround yourself with the people who see the beauty in your uniqueness. Strive to be the best version of yourself, but don’t attempt to change your core. Once you reach this state of mind, you are on your way to emotional freedom.

What does emotional freedom feel like?

Reaching emotional freedom helped me create a life I no longer dread. It taught me there is a better way to live life that doesn’t involve pity parties and helplessness. All you have to do is dare to think that emotional freedom is possible and take the first step to achieve it. Your first step will naturally lead to the next one, until you find your way out of whatever is holding you back.

Learning I was enough in my own unique way enabled me to let go of guilt, shame and anxiety. It showed me that it is possible to see the glass half full even when you’re deemed a pessimist. So I replaced the words “I can’t” with “I’ll give it a try” and it has changed my life in so many ways. I went from a perpetual complainer to a content and grateful person. And now, I am no longer simply existing, I am flourishing.

The takeaway

Live aware. Instead of trying so hard to fix your imperfections, embrace them. They may hold the answers to a life well lived. Whenever you face resistance, remind yourself that people’s opinions don’t define you. This is the only life you get, make the best of it.

“I am enough”- and so are you.

Here is a great Wellness Quiz: The 7 Dimensions of Wellness 

Read next: Become A More Mindful Person: 5 Easy Steps

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