Do you ever feel like you are living with the fear of not enough? Maybe you feel anxious about not having enough money? Or worry that you don’t have enough time to do the things you enjoy? Maybe your fear goes even deeper, believing that you are not enough? Not attractive enough, not smart enough, not successful enough?
Life can make you feel like you are always under pressure, constantly striving to do more, be more, achieve more. Advertising and social media always seem to project the perfect life, the perfect image, the perfect person. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, and every time we fall short of these impossible expectations.
Our minds are repeatedly brainwashed by the media, telling us that we don’t have enough, that we need more.
We try to seek happiness through material wealth. Buying that fancy car, striving to keep up with the latest fashion, or getting a huge mortgage. And the worst message, is that we are not enough. Just the way we are.
Happiness is not a tangible thing, it is not something that can be bought or achieved through material possessions. Seeking happiness through material wealth is a vicious cycle of believing you are not enough.
How can you learn to overcome the fear of ‘not enough?’
This is an important question to consider if you are living with the fear of ‘not enough,’ because it can trigger self-limiting beliefs and anxiety. You might be telling yourself you don’t have enough time in your day, or perhaps you fear a shortage of money or opportunities in your life.
I have lived with the fear of not enough. There are times, I worry that I’m not successful enough or not as outgoing as I’d like to be. I worry that I’m not attractive enough or smart enough. And frankly, at times I worry that I’m just not good enough!
And as I am writing this, a little voice says to me… “Not enough for what!?”
What are we even comparing ourselves to anyway? And where does the fear of not enough come from?
Upon reflection, I identified that the fear of ‘not enough’ brings up feelings of restrictions. It’s as if my world becomes smaller, my walls come up in an attempt to ‘protect’ myself. I become anxious, overwhelmed and frustrated, in an attempt to seek validation from external influences
This led to me believe that if external influences are causing us to feel like we are ‘not enough.’ The solution to overcoming this fear, must lie within our ability to influence our internal beliefs system. By finding ways of identifying how our own lived experiences lead us to believe that ‘we are not enough.’
Understanding your mindset
What you believe about yourself has the power to influence your whole lives, it shapes your reality. I’m sure you have heard of the saying “like attracts like”. The Law of Attraction says: “Everything in the universe is made of energy, including our thoughts. Whatever you project, you will receive in return.”
If you tend to believe thoughts like “I am not enough” or “I don’t have enough.” You are constantly reinforcing this belief, and closing yourself off from the flow of abundance.
Types of mindsets – Abundance vs Scarcity
In an article from Project Life Mastery, Stefan James discusses two types of mindsets. They are the abundance vs scarcity mindsets. He discusses how changing your mindset can transform your life.
In this paragraph I will discuss the two types of mindsets, and most importantly how they influence your life.
The belief that there is more than enough for everyone. It conveys an inner message of positive self-worth and security.
How the abundance mindset influences your life: You are open to the opportunities that life presents, your life holds space for growth and expansion and you feel content and gratitude for your life.
The belief that there is ‘not enough,’ which can trigger fear, anxiety, stress and frustration.
How the scarcity mindset influences your life: Fear will often dictate your life and you close yourself off from opportunities and new ventures. You may feel like you have to constantly compete with others or compare yourself to their success.
Although outside influences like advertising or social media can trigger the fear of ‘not enough’. We hold the power within ourselves to change our own mindset, because we have a choice in what we believe. By doing this you will begin to let go of the fear of ‘not enough’ and invite in a life of abundance.
Where does the fear of ‘not enough’ come from?
This section will identify where the fear of ‘not enough’ stems from in our individual lives. Its important to understand that everyone has patterns, thoughts and behaviors which are formed throughout their life experience.
Social and environmental factors have a huge influence over your patterns and behaviors. Here is an example. If a child is born into poverty they may develop the belief that they will never have enough money. Or if your parents or peers hold negative opinions about themselves, you might take on this belief about yourself.
Most of us are unaware of the thoughts we are projecting, or the behaviors we adopt. Unconsciously we may be reinforcing beliefs of the scarcity mindset, and over time we start comparing ourselves to a false reality that we have created in our minds, leaving us to fall short every time.
If you are living with the fear of ‘not enough’ don’t let it hold you back any longer. Read on to discover the steps towards creating a life that flows with abundance.
How to overcome the fear of ‘not enough’
1. Identify the stories and beliefs you have about the ‘not enough’ mindset
Understanding the scarcity vs abundance mindset is important, because gives you tools to identify which mindset you are projecting. Every day you reinforce the stories/beliefs you have about yourself, which, shape your reality.
There are a number of ways you can begin to identify these beliefs, two ways which have helped me are meditation and journaling.
Meditation: Find some quiet time in your day to watch the thoughts and stories running through your mind. Identify any fears that arise and ask yourself: “What are they telling me?” “What emotions or sensations arise in my body?” Do you feel tension, sadness, frustration? Allow them to surface without judgement and see if any messages arise.
The more you practice meditation and mindfulness, the easier it becomes to identify the thoughts of fear arising throughout the day.
Journaling: Personally, I find that journaling after meditation is very effective as you go into it with a clear mind. Keeping a Journal is an effective way of identifying your thoughts, plus seeing them on paper often has a big impact.
Write down these three questions on a piece of paper:
- Why do I believe I am not enough?
- Why do I believe I do not have enough?
- How are these fears of not enough influencing my every day?
Be honest with yourself, don’t try to sugarcoat it. Just write what needs to come out, it may feel uncomfortable and painful, but I promise once the words are out you will feel a weight lifted.
Now write down this question:
- How would I choose to live my life if I truly believed that I was enough and my life was full of abundance?
Picture yourself knowing that you are enough, just the way you are. Trusting that your life will always be filled with abundance.
You might like to practice this exercise daily or weekly, whatever it takes to help lessen the fears around not being enough.
2. Practice Gratitude
This simple practice allows you to acknowledge the things you are grateful for in your life, instead of focusing on what you are lacking.
Take a moment each day to think or write about the things you are truly grateful for. Express how blessed you are for the people, opportunities and beauty in your life. Believe that the universe will always look after and provide for you. When practicing gratitude your life naturally opens up to the energy of abundance, because what you project you receive in return.
3. Empower yourself – Choose a positive attitude
Self-empowerment involves taking responsibility and being accountable for your thoughts and actions instead of blaming external factors. If you choose to blame external factors for what happens in your life you are giving away your personal power. It may seem easier to blame others, but unfortunately this option just keep you feeling powerless. So learn to identify where your actions and behaviors are influencing your life, and take steps towards positive change.
When you choose to empower yourself and take responsibility, an abundant life will flow freely. True, thing don’t always work out the way you’d like them to, but a positive attitude opens you up to far more possibilities in the future.
4. Accept where you are in Life
Accepting that everyone is at different stages in their lives, loosens the pressure of self-judgement. Part of the fear of not being/having enough arises from comparing yourself to others, instead of accepting where we you are at on your own journey.
There is always going to be someone seemingly richer, more successful or spiritual than you are. But it is impossible to compare your own unique journey to theirs.
Learning to accept where you are at in your life, releases the pressure of comparing yourself to others. Knowing that you are at the right place in your journey allows you to be more open to a life of abundance.
5. Be part of something bigger
When you step out of your own mind and look at the bigger picture, you realize that everyone has their own struggles and challenges. We are all just doing our best with where we are at. And the beauty of life is that we are all part of something bigger.
Reaching out to help others, and sharing your dreams and aspirations encourages supportive relationships, and gives you a strong sense of purpose and belonging. When you open yourself up to being part of the world, and realize that you can make a difference, then the feeling of not being good enough begins to disappear.
Spending time with people who enrich your life, encourage your dreams and share your passions brings a great deal of purpose to your own life, as well as others.
Living with the fear of not enough keeps us in the scarcity mindset, a place of fear and restrictions. We close ourselves off from the wonderful opportunities’ life has to offer. It takes patience and practice to overcome our fears and change our mindset. However, when you start taking action and follow these steps, your life will be open to the possibilities of abundance in many beautiful ways.
Share your tips/advice on overcoming the fear of not enough, and cultivating an abundance mindset in the comments below.