The problem of inadequacy is rampant in our society. Call it low self-esteem, need for approval, or the disease to please—if you believe that you are your conditioned habits, you’ll live with the sense that something’s missing.
The messages about lack are everywhere. Just watch ten minutes of commercials on TV. You’ll be told you aren’t young enough or thin enough, or that you don’t have the car or even cleaning product you need to be happy. We live in a culture of non-acceptance, which is supported by what many of us learn from our families of origin.
We’re taught that we’re not good enough, that we need exactly what we don’t have. It’s a legacy of lack.
The Pain Is Personal
Of course, this sense of lack seeps into our personal psyches. It might appear like this:
- Living steeped in thoughts about what you should do or be to be acceptable and complete;
- Needing others’ approval to feel okay about yourself;
- Constant self-criticism;
- Feeling that there must be something more to life;
- Compulsive behavior that tries to fill your emotional void.
It’s like the bucket is always leaking. You rarely feel full, relaxed, and at ease.
Lack and desire are at the root of unhappiness. And feelings of personal inadequacy keep you searching, struggling to fulfill your needs and desires.
In Buddhism, it’s called the hungry ghost— that gnawing hunger to seek what you think you’re missing but which can never really satisfy.
You Are Already Whole
The invitation I’m offering to you here, right now, is to stop living in the false identity of “not enough,” to stop searching to get what you think you need in order to finally be adequate.
Instead, turn your into into the core of inadequacy to find out if it’s true. (Hint: It’s not.) Realize the possibility that, outside of the sad stories and hopeless feelings, the truth has always been here, waiting to be discovered.
You have always been all that you were looking for.
You are whole and complete, more than enough, full and overflowing—just as you are. You can wake up from the dream of personal lack, which is precisely the healing you’ve been looking for.
The Path to Heal from the Pain of Inadequacy
How to do that? Don’t believe the thoughts that try to convince you that you’re inadequate. Question these thoughts, and they’ll start to lose their power.
- You observe them rather than believe them.
- You realize you don’t have to take them as true.
When you stop and question your thoughts, you’ve put on the brakes to this painful habit. And that changes everything.
You realize that these thoughts appear, but they are not who you are.
And who are you? Naturally kind and open-hearted…pristine…unaffected by anything that might have happened to you.
We’ve all heard the saying that you can see the glass as half empty or half full. I say, don’t just see the glass as half full.
Stop trying to fix what’s not actually broken in you and realize that your glass is already completely full and overflowing. Recognize that your fulfillment is already here, available right now, then go out there and enjoy your life.
Are you troubled by inadequacy? Have you found the way to heal from it? I’d love to hear…And if you’re reading by email, please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.
You may have noticed that there was a problem with posting comments on the site for the past few weeks, but this is now fixed. Feel free to stop by. I’d love to hear about your challenges and insights!
Always in love,
PS: This post is inspired by Chapter 7 of my book, The End of Self-Help: Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life. To purchase the book for yourself or a friend, please click here.