Saturday, June 1, 2019

9 Practices to Help You See You Are Enough

Self-care Tips and Motivation for Wellness

Gather round those of us who worry we aren't enough. This applies to even those who start off feeling okay about themselves.

This post has been updated 5/5/2022

This post is food for thought for those who get down on themselves. We may make the mistake of comparing ourselves to others and come up short. Can you relate? 😕

When I was in my twenties, I thought caring for my family, taking on greater responsibility at work and in the community, and leading a busy life would fill the emptiness I often felt inside. It didn't.

Then in my thirties, I noticed that despite making money, having a degree and career, and receiving praise from others, I didn't feel I was a valuable human being. 

To compound things, my lack of self-compassion influenced the choices I made, and led to behaviors that further damaged my sense of self-worth.

Are you still with me?

Self-doubt about my right to a place in the world, only made me feel more anxious, gloomy, and dejected. 

How I Discovered I am Enough

In my early forties, at a low point in my life, I felt intense emotional pain. My rocky first marriage had ended, and I was anxious about how my family would survive. 

Fear and courage compelled me to journal write, and try to sort out my options.

Soon I noticed that expressing my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to happenings of the day in a journal, gave me a way to diffuse the negative energy I felt was trapped inside. 

I journaled about my goals and dreams, and the recorded progress I made. This motivated me to search for and adopt additional self-care practices that eventually helped me feel stronger and more empowered. 

That's why this quotation from Joan Halifax's book Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet resonates with me.

"Living systems that break down can reorganize at a higher and more robust level, if they learn from the breakdown experience."

Today, as a result of my steadfast effort to show up for myself, I've replaced damaging self-talk and self-defeating people-pleasing behavior with authenticity. 

I've gained confidence in my own worth, and like myself just the way I am.

Each day begins fresh and new, as I follow through with mindful self-care. 

I know for sure...

 I am a healthy person with a bountiful life 

You can have that too! 

Consistent self-care is how I got here, and ... 

I invite you to come along with me to try out the 9 practices I outline below for a three week trial. 

By then, you'll be able to see which ones increase peace of mind, motivate you to keep on keeping on, and renews your faith in yourself.

How to Recognize You Are Enough

At least once or twice a day, check in with yourself to listen to the stories you tell yourself about you. 

Get in touch with your desires, emotions, body sensations, and beliefs. Look for at least five things you consider assets, challenges, successes, and dreams. List them without judging them good or bad. 

Embrace who you are right now, without any qualifications, conditions, or exceptions. Affirm you are enough. 

Early in my recovery, I learned to treat myself with kindness, care, and consideration. PLEASE do that too. 

Best Way to Take an "I am Enough Inventory"

If you are a perfectionist, "should" yourself, or treat yourself harshly, request help from a friend or counselor to work through your personal inventory.

This is a good idea, because shame and guilt may actually send you deeper into a slump. 

Research shows that asking questions instead of ordering yourself around is a more effective way to create self-knowledge. 

When you catch your inner critic shouting accusations, reframe thoughts by asking: “What ways can I convert this noise into an information gathering opportunity?”

Self-care tips and motivation

1. Reserve time to journalWriting with pen on paper grounds you to the present moment and helps you recognize distress or comfort in mind, body, and spirit. 

Journal writing is a meaningful way to check your emotional temperature, note progress, and supports self-discovery. See Journal Prompts to Boost Self-confidence for more. 

2. Explore meditative practices. Mediation techniques including breath work and body scans, yoga, affirmations and visualizations, mindful eating, reflection, and walks in nature can help you experience the richness in yourself and your surroundings, through your senses. 

If you aren't familiar with one or the other of these self-care practices, take a class, read a book, or get a pro to show you the ropes.

3. Use mindfulness daily. House cleaning and laundry, food prep, child care, exercise, and alone and family time are enriching experiences if done mindfully. Even the colors you choose to wear can have an uplifting effect. 

Living in the now creates calm and balance in you, and helps you be present for yourself, others, and the tasks at hand.

4. Contemplate gratitude. When you make a gratitude list, whether it's a mental or actual written one, you focus on positives in your life. Put an appreciative spin on everything by reading tips to draw more gratitude into your day. 

5. Be physically active and health aware. Incorporate aerobics, stretching, weight lifting, and balancing activities into daily routine. Exercise elevates mood, gets your heart pumping, and can give you the spark that inspires you to take better care of yourself in other areas of your life. 

Learn how walking is a step in the right direction. Then find out how adopting a plant-based eating plan can make life healthy and lively.

6. Meet your needs first. When you care for mind, body, and spirit, you're more likely to do things that bring you satisfaction, and follow through on actions to improve your sense of well-being. 

When you're mindful to take good care of your own needs, you have renewed energy to be there for others. Just remember, to make wellness a priority and persist with self-care. 

7. Hang out with the winners. Develop mutually supportive relationships with a few good people or many, depending on individual preferences. 

People need other people, and reaching out to socialize and get and give support is good for mental and physical health. 

Spending time with family or friends reduces stress and may even lower your risk of dementia

8. Detach from energy drains.  Say "no" to people, places, and things that disrupt serenity. Being around negativity increases tension, so for wellness don't take on anything that goes against personal ethics, values, or instincts. 

Get in the habit of letting go of small things, before they become bigger problems.

9. Develop a generous, loving attitude. Put your focus on loving kindness. Allow those good vibrations to help you remain non-judgmental, and love and approve of yourself and others wholeheartedly.

More About Improving Self-love:


Please comment below and click publish. 

If you are dealing with low self-image now or have dealt with it in the past, what helped you treat yourself with tender loving care (TLC)? Please share how you do it.

Have any tips about how you fit self-care into a full life? 

I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them if you add links. Thanks for understanding. 

If you'd be so kind, share on social media with a link back to this post.

Many people struggle with low self-esteem, and your social share of this post may be supportive to someone who needs it.


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  1. Thanks Marianne for the visit and comment. Hugs to you!

  2. All good tips! I have never had a journal but I know many do. Closest to a journal was a diary as a teen. I know I felt very worthless when my health issues got the best of me and I could no longer work. With the help of my psychologist, I no longer feel that way.

    1. Thanks Dee for the visit and comment. So happy for you that you were able to get the help you needed, and today you let your light shine!

  3. visiting from #MLSTL and I really love your 9 things! (I love lists) I am happy to say I am doing most of them and working hard right now on being kinder and less judgmental to myself and others. A work in progress for sure.

    1. Thanks for visiting from MLSTL and your comment. Wish for you to keep on making progress. People usually have at least one thing in common. LOL. We are works in progress.

  4. I am at a workshop this week, and we were just talking today about the need many women have to feel that they are enough. It gets at the heart of a lack of self-confidence. I was surprised how many people in the room related to this need to feel like we are enough. .

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and observation. I agree that many people need to feel they are enough. I posted this blog for them and also for me. When I'm going into a new situation (like I will be soon) it helps to reaffirm I am enough. By the way, love your Website.

  5. There was a lot of great information in here Nancy - and interesting to read how you worked your way through your own process from self doubt to being enough - it took me until my 50's to figure out the process too - people pleasing was a big one for me and something I'm still learning to release myself from!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

    1. Thanks so much Leanne. Love your party MLSTL and thank you for hosting. Amazed so many women have had this issue and happy that eventually we learn we are enough or make progress in this area.Can relate about people pleasing. For me it's important others like me, but have learned to trust myself to do what I think is right and let go of how people react to that. Have a colorful day and hang in there for yourself. You're so worth it!

  6. This is a wonderful list, Nancy, and I think it all starts with taking care of ourselves first. It has nothing to do with being selfish, and everything to do with respecting and loving ourselves.

    1. Hi Candi, Thanks for the visit and comment. You are so right about respecting and loving ourselves! Have a lovely day.

  7. Hi Nancy, it took me until 50 to really start to be kind to myself and acknowledge the value I bring to the world. Your 9 practices should be easy - so why do we resist making the time to do them? I'm guilty of that with journalling. I start of with a shiny, new journal and only stick at it for a day or two. Thanks for sharing with us at #MLSTL and I am with you all the way in incorporating this list into our daily lives. xx

  8. Thanks Sue for hosting #MLSTL and your comment. Knowing and accepting ourselves just the way we are is a great gift we can give to ourselves. I can't fit everything I want to do in one day so I practice being patient and understanding about time, the number of hours in a day, and my limits of energy and focus. Whatever you do Sue, you have the power to make it good enough!!!

  9. Hi Nancy, Nice to meet you through #MLSTL. A wonderful, insightful post. I received kind advice from a friend many years ago, be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Interesting about writing in the Journal. Your post has many gems. I am bookmarking and sharing SM. Thank you:) Erica

  10. Hi Erica/Erika, The advice you received from you friend resonates with me. Sometimes when I'm having a really tough time, I speak to myself as I would to my beloved grandchildren. That works every time. Be well and thanks for being at the #MLSTL Party and giving me the opportunity to meet you!!!

  11. Hello Nancy. I am coming to you from #MLSTL. I appreciate your nine tips and have starting incorporating all of them into my life to one degree or another. The one area I want to focus on more now is letting go of energy drains. Thank you for the motivation. Have a lovely day!


    1. Thanks Christie for the visit and comment. Sending positive energy to you to help you make progress in letting go of energy drains!

  12. I have suffered with the issue of low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. I started the process of self-evaluation at about age 50, right around the time my husband and I, retired and became perpetual travelers. Travel helped me, but also discovering "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, made the biggest difference in my road to self-acceptance. I learned from doing morning pages what the root to my self-esteem issues were. Thanks for this informative post. Will share to FB.

    1. Thanks Christina for the visit and wonderful tip you shared with my readers. I read and worked "The Artist's Way" too. It was transformative for me and I appreciate you mentioning it. Appreciate the support as well.

  13. Every day I tell myself that I am enough. Some days I believe it. It helps to listen to I am, I am by Sat Katar.

    1. Not familiar with that and now I'm going to check it out.Thanks for the visit and thanks for the tip.

  14. Wonderful post that is full of encouragement and real life advice for increasing our self confidence and self acceptance. Thank you!

    1. So glad you mentioned "encouragement and real life advice for increasing our self confidence and self acceptance." These are such important ways to help us realize we are enough. Have a beautiful day and thanks for the visit.

  15. Thanks so much for linking up at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39!

    1. Thank you Dee for being a gracious host. Love the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39! and will visit again. Be well and lead a colorful life.

  16. What a great list Nancy! Pinned this post! Thanks for linking up with us at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39

    1. Thanks Sylvia for the visit. It was my pleasure to link up at #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 39. Thanks for hosting and pin. Wishing you a beautiful weekend and colorful life!

  17. Great advice and reminders that we must love ourselves in order to be happy in life. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I love that idea from that quote, "learning from the breakdown experience." That's very insightful. These are great tips and reminders. Journaling can be huge! As I have read up on journaling and memory-keeping (journaling with photos), I've read several articles that point to how doing so helps you make sense of your life's experiences and see good things that have come out of difficulty through the process of looking back at them from a distance. Thanks for sharing at Will Blog for Comments #4.

    1. Thanks Jennifer for your kind comment. I believe we can grow from any experience and journal writing is such a powerful tool for healing. Enjoy being a participant in your new blog party, Will Blog for Comments, and appreciate you hosting. Have a good week.

  19. Hello Nancy, this post will be one of my features for SSPS #297, thank you for sharing with us. Pinned!

    1. So excited and honored. This is one of my most personal and heartfelt posts, and I hope because of its being featured, I can help more people understand they are good enough. Thanks for hosting SSPS and have a great day.