Seeking external safety & approval
Most of us are familiar with the experience of feeling like we are not enough. When we feel like we are not enough the tendency is for us to compete, even if that competition only lives within our own minds. The way that competition shows up differs for everyone. For some it is a constant pressure and striving on self to “do more” or “be better”. For other people it is through being stronger or more powerful than others. It is either through forcing ourselves to be better or by being better or more powerful than others that we find our validation and safety when we feel like we not enough.
Not enoughness is the foundation of lack and scarcity. When we inherently believe ourselves to be not enough we create a life where we are always needing to control, manage and prove ourselves so that we have enough “out there” and therefore feel internally ok. Our inherent internal worth is not present so we must find enough outside of us, in our environment, relationships and situations. You will notice that this is the case for you if you feel threatened by things in your environment changing. This could be a change in your job, or in how your body functions, or a change in a relationship. When a change arises, if it seems to threaten your sense of safety and stability, you can know its because you have outsourced your safety to things in your external conditions or environment, even including your own body.
When we outsource our safety and stability to things, our body or people in our environment there will always be a sense of inner powerlessness. That means that any time we feel threatened by a feeling, an emotion, a sensation, or by what someone else does or doesn’t do, or says or doesn’t say, or really any experience at all that feels threatening, its coming from an underlying belief that somehow, in some way, we are not enough. That ‘not enoughness’ can feel like death. Death of our physical self, or psychological self or interpersonal/relational self. It is this underlying belief that we are not enough that than causes us to react out of fear, to create stress hormones in our physiology, and that activates our nervous system into fight, flight or freeze. This little or not so little belief in our ‘not enoughness’ effects everything from the health of our body, the quality of our relationships and how we can show up and participate in life.
Falling out of flow
Un-prioritizing what’s really important
Most of us desire flow state. Flow state is that magical, energized state of being where things simply occur without too much effort, thinking or work. If there is work it comes from this rhythmic dance of co-participation with the forces of life and nature. We often feel light, blissful and inclusive of all that arises when in flow state. We have all experienced some version of this and most of us are hungry for some flavor of this to be our constant state of being. This is the state of being of abundance of self. This is actually our true state.
The belief of our not enoughness/lack runs contrary to our true state of enoughness/abundance. When things aren’t true, or said another way, when things are out of alignment, they feel bad. This is why it feels so bad when we feel ‘not enoughness’. Its actually out of alignment with our highest truth, but when we get hijacked by this belief it takes over as truth and we have a hard time seeing anything else. Here begins the loss of our flow (natural, inherent) state of being.
So what can we do about this? As always the first thing is to be aware that this is happening as its happening. Often we go unconscious and are not aware of ourselves while we our in patterns. We get sucked into the pattern/belief and we don’t even know we are in it. We’ve merged with and have become the pattern. So we must pause, and recognize that we are believing that we are not enough and see all the ways that the pattern is manipulating our behavior. Are we trying to be better, do more, prove ourselves, be stronger, smarter or more powerful than others? Are we comparing ourselves to others, or to ourself? Do we feel crappy about ourselves, like we suck, like we are never going to get it? Are we feeling scared, threatened, like we aren’t going to be ok? These are all the behaviors and thoughts associated with the pattern of lack or not enoughness.
Once we are aware of ourselves to the point where there is some aspect of ourselves present that is not totally merged with the pattern we must prioritize the flow state of abundance. Since we’ve experienced flow before we know it exists. If it existed once it can exist again, we simply must bring it back into view. We must see that it is here too even within the state of not enoughness. The state of abundance includes everything, even the state of lack. As we do this we begin to reabsorb and reconnect into more of our true state. Bringing more and more energy, focus and priority to abundant flow and simply noticing when you revert and go back into focusing and prioritizing lack. This is a dance. A dance of prioritization in which you get to rest more and more into your true state the more and more you bring it into awareness.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado