“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.”
I absolutely love this. Telling oneself “I am not enough.” is an excuse to not give your best and have huge, fearless goals that will ultimately better the world, all the while being masked by altruistic modesty. In actuality, self-loathing is anything but altruistic.
I fall into this, often, especially in social situations. I tell myself I’m not good enough to make friends. If I picture the world where I am happiest, it involves me in a cabin on top of a mountain in the Alps with a stack of books and a rum and coke and no one within 20 miles of myself. Why? Because talking to people and making friends terrifies me. I feel so inadequate that the whole experience of going to parties and meeting people feels like being held at gunpoint. I get so damn nervous. But of course, living as a recluse would only serve myself. Pope Francis has even said that it is unchristian to not know your neighbors. Whether or not I like it, I know it’s important to make friends, be friendly to coworkers, and say hi to passing strangers. There are plenty of people in society who are feared like the plague (homeless people, young single mothers, etc) and benefit greatly by simply being acknowledged and spoken to. For others, a friend is immensely helpful during stressful times. In order to do the most good for the world, I need to have friends, and before I can do that, I need to possess confidence.
Striving for confidence isn’t a self-serving desire to feel sexy and powerful. Rather, it’s the desire to STOP thinking about myself so often. By telling myself I am so much more awkward and unlikable than other people, I am essentially telling myself that I’m really special and different. Which isn’t true. All humans experience similar emotions, insecurities, and desires. I’m not horribly special. I’m just a person. Just like everyone else. I want to get to a place where when I talk to someone I am only thinking of them and their needs instead of obsessing over my own insecurities. I believe the first step is just telling myself that currently, I am enough.