"Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It's the fear that we're not good enough."
~ Brene Brown
"How do I heal the "not good enough" wound? How do I love myself?" These questions come up so frequently in therapy sessions, I thought I would share a brief list of ways to heal.
1. Find self-compassion. We all had to find ways to fit in to be taken care of as children. When we differ from our family members we tend to feel “not good enough.”
2. Forgive your forgetting. Our differences trigger our family's and other people's unhealed emotional wounds. So we repress our differences until we forget who we really are.
3. Summon courage. Differentiating from our original family is a courageous hero/heroine’s journey because our family members might not prefer our differences.
4. Create safety. How do we feel ok with not fitting in with others when it sets off our nervous system's alarm bell of non-belonging? To feel safe in your body, you need to encourage yourself in ways you have never experienced with other people before.
5. Encourage yourself. How we encourage ourselves when others do not? Encourage yourself by affirming your authentic nature, repetitively, until the safety of self-belonging takes hold in your nervous system.
6. Repetition is the key. Repeating kind, soothing words to ourselves, over and over, eventually changes the well-worn grooves of socialized self-rejection. Find kind words that feel good in your body and repeat them until they "land."
7. No one will save you. Once we enter adulthood, we are responsible for healing the pain patterns that we acquired during the socialization process. Lack of self-love is yours to heal.
8. Always be kind to yourself. Our need for social belonging is so strong, we reject and criticize ourselves in the same ways that we were rejected and criticized in the past. Decide instead to always be kind to yourself.
9. Find the antidote. To turn self-criticism and self-rejection into its opposite, create a self-love statement. Enjoy how good this "antidote" feels in your body.
10. Practice good feelings. Many of us do not know what it means to feel good. We can sometimes "practice our pain" by feeling it for far too long. Emotional pain needs to be acknowledged, assessed for self-limiting beliefs, and then "interrupted" with self-care, self-affirmation and self-love practices.