About Not Being Good Enough, And Not Having To Do Shit.

Photo on 2013-04-28 at 12.03 #6

I can beat around the bush, but anyone who has seem me attempt to play hockey can tell you, I’m not very good with a stick.  So in the bluntest, shortest way possible, here’s what it is: I’ve been telling myself I am a loser. For like, four months.

I have been beating myself senseless with the same message, wrapped in a few different sentences. That I’m a loser.

For the longest time I was perfectly happy with who I was, and striving happily for who I want to be. But sometimes a combination of life and personality knocks you on your ass, and your higher, happy self writes checks your more vulnerable self can’t cash. That’s what happened to me.

All I kept hanging over my head was everyting I’m not, everything I should be or should have been by now, and all the things other people are better at than me.  You’re not good enough you’re not good enough you’re not good enough.

Not a good enough writer, teacher, girlfriend, blogger, person. I am less, inferior.

I have been beating myself up, constantly. Because I am not a writer yet. Because I am unsuccessful, because I procrastinate, because I am not skinny, because I am not rich, because other peple look better than I do, because I feel weaker than other people.

I know I don’t write much right now. I can imagine that to a reader, I am only a grumpy shadow of this happy ‘inspirational’ person who used to write here, but one thing is the same: I always write straight from the heart. This is in my heart right now. I am dealing with a rampant inferiority complex combined with perfectionism. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

And I think we’ve all felt that way about ourselves on way or another, almost everyone knows the feeling of not being good enough.

For whatever reason it may be. Maybe because you were rejected for a job or school, or some guy didn’t like you as much as you hoped. Maybe more self-inflicted, like beating yourself up over useless stuff. Like how you don’t exercise as much as someone else. Or how you just so happen to not have your dream job while people around you all seem to follow their passion. Maybe because you are not as thin as someone else, not as popular, not as pretty, because you don’t have a huge impressive wardrobe.

But that’s just not how it works, sweethearts.

You are not less. You are not a loser. No matter what you have or what you do, there is something within you that is perfect and enough. It is worthy of love and acceptance. It is pure, it is you, and it’s that deepest part of you, that is good enough no matter what.

It’s something that doesn’t need to be altered. It’s from that place that you can grow or improve, sure, but that basic inner thing is perfect as it is.

I decided to go back to that. I had a week off and I decided to completely cut the whole “I have to”-sentence out of my vocabulary. I decided to not do anything about anything. Because actually, I don’t have to do anything.  I am my own self-assigned drill sergeant, and I fucking fired myself in that department.

Instead, I just did whatever I fucking pleased. (A+ 10/10 highly recommend)

I forgot about everyone else’s life, how they look, what they do. How everyone is doing these amazing things, crossing off everything on their to-do lists, constantly working out, buying amazing clothes, signing amazing deals. No offense, but I stopped caring.

I just enjoyed my days for what they were, and that was nice. I didn’t go “tomorrow I’m going to change my entire life!!1!!” Because I just want to be for a little while and just enjoy. Just find joy. 

And so I went to the market, not because I have to eat extremely healthy or otherwise the world will end, but because I had a craving for beet-grapefruit juice and wanted pretty green limes in my fruit bowl.

I got a haircut, just because. I took myself out for a coffee date, not because I had to write a couple of thousand words but because I wanted to sit in a coffee shop and drink coffee.

I read a lot, because I wanted the comfort of books over Internet and television. Not because I felt I had to. I watched Finding Nemo, Brave and Tron because I LOVE Disney movies. I played my favorite computer adventure games of all time (Secret of Monkey Island and Curse of the Monkey Island) without a constant nagging I should have been exercising or writing instead.

I wrote for my eyes only, and rekindled my connection with my imaginary friends (they’re really fun once you get to know them). I forgot about ‘having to blog’ because my blog has always been a labor of love for writing and self help, not of pressure to deliver to an audience.

I went to bed late, and slept in. I didn’t exercise once this week. Why not, you ask? Because I don’t have to. I didn’t want to and so I didn’t.

I didn’t make any to do lists. I sat on my balcony, got a tan. Graded some papers — Weird, I know but I enjoy grading. I ordered Indian take out and realized Indian food really is my favorite food . I bought myself a few simple t-shirts and a pair of jeans, on sale.

4-up on 2013-04-25 at 14.46 #8

And you know what? I feel better. More accepting of how I feel and how things are. Less preoccupied with “having to bounce back asap”, with “making a comeback”, with feeling better because other people are expecting me to. This is how it is, this is how I feel and that’s okay.

Sometimes you gotta learn the hard way, and sometimes you gotta stand still even when everyone and everything around you is moving.

And now, to draw this long-winded article illustrating my complexes to a close, I present you with the punch line:

If there is anyone out there like me, I hope you get something from this. If you are tired, fed up with saying “I have to” and “I’m not good enough” to yourself, sick from feeling like you’re forcing, I hope you can find it in you to stop and take a break. Not for ever, but for as long as you can and as long as you need.

Because you are good enough. Even if you’re not striving and achieving and competing and coming out on top. Because you got something in you that’s already perfect. You don’t have to do anything. If you had forgotten about that, I hope this story made you remember.

And in case of TL;DR at least you got to admire my new sweater and haircut! 

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  1. I’m sorry to read this, but I love to read about the break you took. In every way. I’m not in the position to take a week off (altough I feel like I need months) but the last two days I did enjoy doing things in my apartment and cleaning (it’s the spring!) instead of studying like crazy.
    I hope you’ll get your flow back soon. X (And a little nagging voice in my head said this comment is shit, but I’m going to post it anyway. HA).

  2. Hey, no need to apologise! You’re not a grumpy shadow, you’re a real person with struggles. Thank you for sharing this. Hope your break worked like the magic you’re always going on about 🙂

    P.S. Your hair(cut) is lovely!

  3. “But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one’s life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn how to speak a language for no higher purpose than that it pleases your ear to hear it? Or to nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favourite fountain? And then to do it again the next day?”

    ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

  4. Thanks for this, Lianne, het is super herkenbaar! Ik ben blij dat je de druk een beetje van jezelf af hebt kunnen halen. No need to be so hard on yourself. Op zulke momenten van herkenning vind ik het altijd jammer dat blogs toch een beetje eenrichtingsverkeer zijn! 🙂

  5. Wat goed van je! Ik vind het echt mooi hoe je dit van jezelf kan zien, hoe je afstand kan nemen eigenlijk en dat kan verwoorden. Ik voel nu gewoon ‘herkenning’ en that’s it.
    Ik vrees dat ik niet zo ver hierin kan zijn als jij. Ik heb er ook last van, veel, druk, een betere studente, vriendin, vrouw, partner, willen zijn, alles kunnen. En dan lees ik je laatste zinnen, denk ik, oh, zo’n pauze klinkt heel goed voor me. Dat doe ik wel, maar eeeeeerst nog even mijn papers indienen, examens, vervolgens mijn huishouden wat beter regelen, vervolgens … Of maak ik mezelf dit gewoon wijs? Ik blijf gewoon doorgaan en zeg over die pauze altijd ‘komt wel’.
    Des te knapper ik het van jou vind dat jij er wel de tijd voor neemt. Gewoon stop zegt, je eisen opgeeft en doet wat je wil.

  6. Lianne, such a fantastic post. You had me totally absorbed from beginning to the end.
    I love the way you have described doing exactly what you wanted to do just because it’s what you felt like it and not because you “had to”.
    I can identify totally with what you’re saying here – I swear I have spent the best part of my life doing what I feel like I have to do rather than because it’s what I want to do so thank you again for a really great post. Loved it!!!

  7. Onwijs knap dat je het zo hebt aangepakt. Ik vind het heel inspirerend. Ik ken het gevoel door en door vanwege mijn chronische depressie. Helaas is dat al ongeveer 10 jaar zo. Laat ik nou net een weekje vakantie hebben, ik ga ook eens een weekje niks doen. Het lijkt me wel heel lastig, ik ben zo verschrikkelijk streng. 😉 Maar gelukkig zijn er mensen als jij who lead by example.

    En voor wanneer je nog eens “zo’n bui” hebt, kijk eens naar deze afbeelding die ik maakte toen ik me heel down voelde: http://www.zonneharp.nl/2013/04/sound-advice/

  8. Zo goed van je lieverd! Een beetje afstand en me-time, dat doet je goed.

    Oh, en: Naast het feit dat je haar heerlijk geknipt is, ben je gewoon (altijd al) een prachtige vrouw.

  9. Ongelofelijk herkenbaar! Good for you dat je een break neemt! Zou ik ook moeten doen, ik ben ALTIJD bezig mezelf te ‘verbeteren’: meer sporten, gezonder eten, meer in huishouden, betere mantelzorgster zijn, meer klussen in het nieuwe huis, mooier inrichten, harder werken, meer aan zelfontwikkeling doen, meer lezen, minder tv, blablabla. Inderdaad heel vermoeiend maar ik denk heel erg vrouw eigen.

  10. Thank you for this. Your honesty is inspiring and the message is one that I desperately needed to hear right now. THANK YOU
    XoX Sonia

  11. Maybe the fighting with yourself was because you were entering a new phase, or all the work you have done led to a new phase? And yes, it has been very helpful to read about how you’re dealing with yourself and the changes you are going through. Love your hair and new sweater btw, it looks so soft and the colour is great on you 🙂 All the best.

  12. it’s normal to go trough things at this time.. really intens times.
    certainly this month, if you are follow the world on an astrological level, the full moon has just been, and now this month is month of i don’t know… just different energies!

    I follow this dude! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO2QTfXhqds
    It’s maybe a bit out there, or too much maybe for some.
    It just comforting to know that everyone is going trough things, everyone is waking up essentially: )

  13. Haha, love how the first picture (pretty sweater!) suits your words perfectly

    Also been in a BLAH period for a while now here, the sun is doing me very good though. Remember, baby steps, baby steps!

  14. Thanks for sharing this experience. After a highly effective period I just started feeling the same…sometimes we just do so may things at the same time, and even if you enjoy doing everything, if it is too much, after a while you just burn out and desperately need a break. I hope you start feeling better. I think I do.

  15. Ik las dit precies op het juiste moment en wat had ik dit nodig, zeg! Zo herkenbaar. Ik kan het mezelf soms ook zo moeilijk maken. Constant ben ik mezelf aan het pushen en ‘straffen’, op allerlei manieren. Ik werd er helemaal gek van. Na het lezen van jouw post voelde ik me meteen een stuk rustiger, heel erg bedankt daarvoor 🙂

    Ik lees je blog al maanden en ik vind dat je fantastisch schrijft! Volgens mij heb je lang niet door hoeveel wij, jouw lezers, aan jouw wijze en vaak hilarische woorden hebben. Ik zit vaak hardop te grinniken en je inspireert me enorm. Dankzij jou durfde ik het o.a. aan om weer naar Bikram te gaan (na 8 maanden NIKS gedaan te hebben, op vreten en stilzitten na). Je bent goed genoeg, méér dan goed genoeg!

    Liefs Hilde

  16. Normaal reageer ik eigenlijk nooit op je blog, maar dit was zo herkenbaar! Alle dingen die je van jezelf moet en je zoveel druk geven, soms bezwijk ik er gewoon onder. Jouw manier van aanpakken (gewoon proberen te genieten en eens niet zoveel te moeten) ga ik vandaag nog invoeren. Hopelijk heeft het ook op mijn eenzelfde uitwerking.

    Ps: over die drill-sergeant die je ontslagen hebt, echt briljant geschreven en super herkenbaar!

  17. Super knap dat je dit gewoon op internet zet. Heel mooi onder woorden gebracht, en vergeet niet dat je voor alle lezers hier, nog steeds een voorbeeld bent. Doe je blijkbaar toch iets behoorlijk goed in je leven 😉

  18. Long time lurker here. Just wanted to tell you that I have been feeling the same for around four months as well. I would say this posts makes you all the more inspirational, if anything. Hope you feel better.

  19. Wat een mooi een eerlijk stuk. Iedereen kan 1000x tegen je vertellen dat je geweldig bent maar als je dat zelf niet voelt (of hoort in je hoofd) is het aan dovemans oren gericht. Ik hoop dat je jezelf binnenkort weer helemaal de shit vindt, ’cause girl you have no idea! You kick ass by just being who you are. Thanks in ieder geval voor dit heerlijk herkenbare stuk!

  20. Heel herkenbaar indeed ! 😉 Maar dan zijn er weer die momenten van inzicht waarop je denkt: kop op, het is allemaal zo slecht nog niet. En dan genieten we weer. And so on, and so on. 😉


  21. Just to make sure:
    You are good enough. Even if you’re not striving and achieving and competing and coming out on top. Because you got something in you that’s already perfect. You don’t have to do anything. If you had forgotten about that, I hope this story made you remember.

    I know exactly how you feel, I’m sure your advice will help me! Thanks!

  22. hi there, have you heard of Brene Brown? Look for her at TEDx or TED, she talks about accepting vulnerability in a way that is encouraging. Being yourself is always being good enough! Anyway, anyhow, anywhere, always. In her book ‘Daring Greatly’ I found a quote: “Growing up is precisely the acceptance of vulnerability. Live is being vulnerable.” Inspiring, even in scary days…

  23. Thank you for this post and your honesty it heart warming. If there is one lesson I can take from this is to put myself out there, I think by putting yourself out there is part of healing process and that is what I need right now.

  24. Een hele mooie blog post, ik herken me heel erg in je woorden. Ik denk dat ik dit ook maar eens moet gaan doen … ik kan eerlijk gezegd niet wachten.