As a business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “not enough.” There are endless things to do. Emails, client calls, accounting, employees, tech strategy… It’s a bottomless “to-do” list with no end point.
Even in the midst of having accomplished 100 things in a day, it’s easy to go to bed at night feeling a sense of incompletion, like your world could drop out under you without a moment’s notice. Somewhere in the back your mind, your head is swirling with responsibilities and tasks.
The need for “more” causes us unnecessary stress and anxiety. One that is never-ending and crazy-making.
Hamster-wheeling happens when we’re constantly doing, achieving, performing, and producing, for the sake of “more.” It keeps us going on a level of momentum that doesn’t allow us to fully rest or feel fully satisfied. We often keep going without stopping and seeing where we’re actually headed.
Where does the constant fear of “not enough” come from?
Why do we have an inherent need to create more than we need?
You could say it’s history. Starvation, war, conflict. The past trauma of having to survive. Today we are constantly stimulated by technology including social images of people who “have it all and then some.” This can cause us an unnatural, ungrounded fear that somehow we are “not enough.”
I’m not talking about your life dreams here and making your goals happen. I’m talking about the little voice in your head that fears that you’re not enough — because you’re not doing enough. It’s the limiting belief that your value is inherently tied to what you produce, perform and do.
It’s a limiting belief that constantly throws you off kilter. It’s an unconscious motivating fear that doesn’t allow you to fully settle into the present moment.
The idea of “more” and “not enough” are two sides of the same coin. Both offer a feeling of deprivation, striving, searching, straining, and lack. Both come from scarcity consciousness. Both demand conditional states of happiness.
Have you noticed how constantly wanting “more” disconnects you from the present moment? It takes you out of your center. It keeps you off balance by thrusting you into the illusion of a future better moment. The constant desire for more puts the mind in a grasping state, one that can never be sated.
For many of us, even the present moment is not “enough.” That’s why meditation proves challenging for so many people. The present moment by itself is boring, uncomfortable… lacking in excitement. So instead, we fill the moment with “more.” More things. More distractions. More technology.
“Not enough” has become an epidemic afflicting every corner of our outer and inner world from the overuse of our natural resources to the internal anxiety that we are not adequate.
“Not enough” is a state of consciousness and not a true reflection of what we have or who we are. It is a perception that often afflicts us on a deep level that we ourselves are often unaware of.
So what’s the antidote?
What can we do to combat feelings of “not enough?”
1. We can meditate.
Sit with what is. Just here. Just now. Meditation strips away all the mental riff-raff that’s constantly circulating in our head. It helps release our unnecessary cravings so that we can focus on what’s truly important.
2. Ask questions.
Anytime you think “more” or feel the pit in your stomach of not enough, ask yourself “What will more truly give me?”
“What is that I really want to experience?”
“What is enough for me?”
3. Pay attention to, and challenge, your beliefs. Constantly.
It’s easy to fall back into a pattern of more/not enough. Ask yourself, “What am I buying into right now? What am I believing to make myself feel this way?”
“Why am I rushing and pushing?”
Then ask, “What belief would serve me better?”
4. Use affirmations.
Change your core operating system. Affirm to yourself positive beliefs you want to reinforce such as, “I am enough.” “I am perfect.” “Life overflows with grace.” “I AM.”
5. Take time to define and KNOW what enough means to you and only you. Contemplate this — often.
6. Let go.
Release the idea that you could have done more or been more. Accept what is now. Work with what you have. And if you are — stop beating yourself up.
7. Practice gratitude.
Instead of looking for the next thing, acknowledge what you have now. Look at what you’ve already accomplished and be willing to acknowledge all your creations. Keep counting your blessings, again and again.
Contentment is a skill we can work at.
It’s not about complacency or sitting on your laurels. It’s a cultivation of peace and joy that lives within us, no matter what. It’s an inner-sense of true well-being that exists with or without “more.” And it helps us stay in balance together with the natural flow with life.
Inner-fulfillment comes from within. It’s not something we can obtain or “get.” Let’s remember that so we can each live each moment fully, wholly, and completely — with the deep satisfaction of knowing that we are enough.
Originally published at medium.com