There is a story I tell myself. It’s a short story, often overlooked. Easy to be remembered, yet just subtle enough. Definitely not obtuse, more like a tiny acute angle. That last sliver of sunlight through the window shade. Only it’s not sunlight. It’s a shadow. Black with a tendency to cling.
“I am not good enough.”
“I am not good enough for people to like me. For people to love me. For people to care.”
This is the story that quietly whispers it’s words to me. At the supermarket when I realize I’ve hunched my shoulders. When I’ve apologize for someone bumping into me. During a lunch with my coworkers when I’ve said something telling of who I am and who I want to be. Even during the most intimate moments with my partner.
The funny thing about a story is that it shapes your perspective. It clouds out any opposition and makes room clearly for that which perpetuates its same narrative. You lose your capacity for connection. The story slowly become the only version of yourself you see. Unless you take action to stop it.
Now the reality is that such a narrative can seem really hard to change because it’s probably a very familiar story. People learn from an early age how to relate to others and how to relate to themselves. Attachment theory dictates that as early as infancy, we adapt to respond to our caregivers. If our parental figures are not present, or inconsistent it can affect how we establish connections later on in life. Further more families that are unstable or inattentive, even narcissistic play a role in how children experience the world and their role in it. The story of “not being good enough.” is, therefore the logical conclusion children make early on given less than ideal circumstances.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking you’re not good enough. That thought is inevitable given your upbringing. It is when that narrative takes over your life and controls your actions that thinking your not good enough has turned to believing it. You view “ I am not good enough” as truth.
The story of “not being good enough.” is, therefore the logical conclusion children make early on given less than ideal circumstances.