To the Girl That Thinks She’s Not Enough…

I’m not _ enough. Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought this to yourself, muttered it aloud, said it in jest to a girlfriend, etc.

I’ll wat.

Surprise surprise – you’re not alone. I’ve been there, girl, and today’s post is for all of you that can relate. I’m not even sure where to begin but I promise you I have said these very words to myself more times than I can count.

I’m not black enough.

I’m not white enough.

I’m not skinny enough.

I’m not fit enough.

I’m not tough enough.

I’m not cool enough.

Dude, the list goes on and on and on and unfortunately, I know I’m not alone. Why do we say this to ourselves? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we let magazines and celebrities and Instagram tell us that the version of ourselves we see in the mirror isn’t “ideal”?

Spoiler: you are enough. Matter of fact – you’re more than that.

I’ve talked a lot about self-love and confidence before and by now you probably know I’ve had my fair share of struggles with insecurities. I won’t lie to you – I still struggle every now and then but the biggest change in my mentality that got me to this point was getting rid of the I’m not BLANK enough’s. I had to stop comparing myself to others. I had to come to the realization that this version of me is amazing. I also had to understand that wanting to grow as a person or change behavior doesn’t mean I don’t love myself. For example: right now, I have a goal to lose some body fat and gain more muscle. That doesn’t mean I’m thinking to myself “I’m not skinny enough”. For this specific change in my appearance, it’s centered around a whole lot of other stuff including my overall health, my ability to challenge myself at the gym, developing a healthier diet and so much more.

But that’s all easier said than done, right? It doesn’t happen overnight. It has taken me years to fall in love with Lauren and nearly three decades to be nicer to myself. I know you’re ready to get to that same place. You deserve to be in this space and LOVE the woman you are.

Step 1: Surround yourself with good people.

I can’t stress this enough. Surrounding yourself with an awesome community of men & women that fuel positive energy can only lead to more positive thinking. I’m not talking about a literal hype crew but if they build you up, that’s even better. The same goes for getting rid of toxic relationships. This can be a selfish friend, an abusive boyfriend, comparison-generating Instagram accounts, etc. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad or weak person for needing to weed out the negativity. By prioritizing the people you keep around you, virtually or in person, you’re putting your mental health first and that’s pretty badass.

Step 2: Remind yourself how awesome you are.

Some homework for you – write down FIVE compliments about yourself on a post-it and stick it to your mirror. Every morning for the next week, I want you to read out loud those five compliments. Every single morning. And read them out loud. Will, you believe them right away? Maybe not. But practicing positive self-talk and getting in the habit of saying nice things rather than mean girl statements will only help you get to this point of self-love!

Step 3: Empower others.

Maybe one of the most important things I’ve learned through this whole self-love journey is the need to build up others around me. It’s so easy to just not give a compliment. It doesn’t mean you’re being a hater or a mean girl. If you’re like me, you just sort of forget or you think it instead of saying out loud. I started dishing out compliments to my friends and even to strangers and you guys – it has made me a more confident person. When you celebrate good things in others rather than thinking “ugh, I wish I was like that”, you’d be amazed how much better you feel about yourself. You stop comparing and seeing your differences as “flaws” and develop this ability to celebrate all of the unique qualities we all have.

Photos by Naomi Hopkins