By Lauren Denos: 1/5/2015 (Mindset)

Do you feel like you are good enough? Do you feel like there is so much more you should do or need to do, and that you are running out of time or nothing is ever good enough? I have been there. It has affected many areas of my life and is something I still have to work on.

We have all had times that we feel like we are not good enough.

At one point I was anorexic. I was in a size 3, which for me is utterly ridiculous, especially since I am a very muscular and curvy kind of woman. When I think back, I am not even sure of how I got my bone structure in that size! But when I was at that point I was still convinced that I was not thin enough; I did not look good enough, and when I do finally lose more weight then I would magically be happy with my body. The problem was that time never came. I was never satisfied with my body, though it didn’t stop there. Even when I would do modeling it was not real, high-paid modeling so it did not mean anything. I had my own business at 14, but still it was not enough.

This has made me come to realize that it is NEVER enough. No matter what I do or accomplish, no matter how good of shape I am in, it will never be enough. So where does this come from and how do we deal with it?

Well, for me, it is a combination of crazy, ambitious drive and not taking the time to really be thankful for what I have and who I am. Many people tend to think about what they do not have or what they have not done yet, instead of focusing on what they do have. So, for example, instead of focusing on what you hate about your body, focus on what you love about your body. Instead of thinking about the awful people you work with or run into, think about the great people you have in your life. Even better, if you can think about at least one quality you like about that person that normally annoys you then you are starting to focus on the positive, which works like a boulder rolling down the hill. You just keep thinking positive thoughts from there and building momentum.

Do not compare your life to someone elses. Especially when you are only seeing the awesome highlights like you see on Facebook. You know what I am talking about. Those friends who have the most amazing life ever. The ones you wish you could be like. They are always at great parties, having great adventures, traveling the world, etc. Here's a tip: they all have their own stuff they are going through. You are only seeing the highlight reel of their life. I am friends with many successful public speakers, authors, actors, business owners and the like. When here I am in the midst of working on a part of my business for many months at a time with nothing to show for it, I am not going out and being social because I am working like a mad woman and then I see all their successes and their great social lives and fun times. Well it does make me happy to see them succeeding, but it can also make me feel like I am working too slowly. So I remind myself to just focus on my life. I have no idea how long they have been working on a project or what is even going on in their personal life. This is a big thing, because if you really did not see reminders online of what other people were doing 24/7, would you still be comparing your level of success to theirs?

The "not enough" is something I still deal with. When I release a book, it is a great accomplishment, but there is still that nagging thought of "you should have more done by now," or "you are running out of time." I always have the need to learn more and be more. But I think this can be used as healthy fuel as long as we keep it in the right place and recognize all the wonderful things in our life and what we have accomplished this far in our lives.

So what can you do to start living your life and feeling good about where you are at?

#1 Keep a journal. Keeping a journal can make you really think. It is also a great way to track and look back at what you have been doing or experiencing.

  • Every night write out a small list of 3 or more things that rock about your life. Like: you have a great job, great boyfriend, family, car, you are healthy enough to exercise, etc.
  • Write another list of what you like about yourself. You like that you listen to people, you like that you are highly knowledgeable about a subject. You love your arms or butt. Whatever you like.
  • Write 1 or more accomplishments you had that day.

You can make up your own subject to write about, but these subjects should give you a good place to start from.

#2 Wear what makes you feel and look your best. If your image is one of your areas of concern then get clothes that make you feel great! So many people buy what is trendy, or they look at the jean size and therefore buy clothing that fits all wrong. You want to get clothing that is flattering to your figure. Many women do not look good in the low-rise jeans because it makes them look like they have a muffin top, even if they really are not overweight. It is all about how they fit your specific body and the colors that compliment you well. Trust me, this can make a huge difference in the way you look and therefore the way you feel about yourself.

#3 Do something for yourself. I see way too many people always doing stuff for everyone else, but not for themselves. Now I understand if you have a husband and children that need your attention, but find the time so you can do something for yourself. If you want to have a little bit of time to workout then find someone else who wants the same thing. Take her child for an hour or two in the day, and then she takes yours. Or find a way to have a weekend day once in a while where you can go get a massage or your nails done. Maybe it is something as simple as buying your favorite lunch for yourself. Just do something that is for you! You are worth it.

#4 Pay attention to the people your surround yourself with and how they make you feel. Who we surround ourselves with can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves. There is a saying that goes – you are the sum of the 6 people you spend the most time with.

Who are you around? Look at the people you are spending time with. Are they healthy? Do they talk about their dreams and goals? Look at their good qualities and bad qualities. Does one override the other? How do you feel when you are around them and how do you feel when you leave them?

Who we are spending time with will start to affect us more and more so be mindful of what kind of influence you want on your life.

Now I am not saying that the people you are around have to be perfect on everything, which is impossible. It is more about if they have some good qualities that you would like to emulate and are they supportive? I have many friends who are not into health and fitness, but they are great business people, creative artists, or overall good people. They all support me and cheer me on. Do you have the time to be around people who do not support you in your dreams?

#5 Learn something new! Learning can make us feel good about ourselves. When we stop learning we become stagnant and lose some of our zest for life. To curb this, take a workout class, or learn how to cook a new recipe, find a new sport, read a new book, or research something of interest online. The possibilities are endless. The point is to keep that zest in life. We feel good when we learn something new. We feel that much smarter, and that is the way we should feel!

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