“I’m not good enough. I don’t have what it takes. I’m a fraud…”

We all seem to be singing the same tune.

If you boil it down, here is what we tell ourselves:

“I am not enough.”

We use our “flaws,” or “mistakes” as evidence to prove it true.

Scarcity Thinking

This is scarcity thinking at its core. The truth is we want abundance, prosperity, love, all of that good stuff but most of us, deep down, don’t feel worthy of it. We look in the mirror and all we can see is lack, lack, lack.

So what do we do?

First, we compare ourselves to some preconceived idea of what it takes to be “enough.” Then we take an inventory of all the ways we fall short. Finally, we work like hell to hit a constantly moving target, to earn our badge of worthiness by meeting or exceeding a preconceived concept of “enoughness.”

In short, we erect an elaborate facade of perfection, likeability, selflessness… that requires endless time and feeding.

I Know About Facades

Before I became a life coach I spent much of my life hiding behind an elaborate facade.

My quest? Amass enough gold stars that everyone in my immediate proximity would instantly and irrevocably revere me.

There came a point though when this got too exhausting. When I lost the ability to bullshit.

And so I dropped the façade.

What Happens When You Drop a Facade?

It exposes all that stuff you’ve been hiding underneath it. The stuff you hope no one will ever find out about. Things you’re deeply ashamed of — parts of your personality, a decision you made in the past, things done to you, things you have done to others.

So let’s talk about shame…

Shame is  “a painful feeling that comes about from the consciousness of something dishonorable or improper, done by oneself or another.” The root of the word can be traced back to an older word meaning “to cover.”

And this is what we do. We cover up our shame — those so called flaws, the failures, our bad behavior or crappy decisions — so nobody finds out. We keep it all out of sight and out of mind. We think we have it under control but shame is the one with the true power, whether we’re conscious of it or not, it fuels our decisions, our choices and our actions.


Quoting Brene’ Brown the preeminent shame researcher, author of multiple books, world famous speaker and lover of great tunics, “you put shame in a petri dish and it needs secrecy, silence and judgment to grow exponentially.”

Shame, Brene’ says, is not the same as guilt. Shame whispers (or shouts), “what were you thinking?!”, “you are such a loser!”, “you must be crazy if you think you can pull that off.”

We will never be competent, capable or worthy in the eyes of shame. Shame is a bully; dogmatic and obstinate, it demands over and over again that you submit to the idea that you are not enough.

With shame, there is no other choice but to hide. Hide away under a persona that you use to overcompensate for the parts of you that shame wants you to believe are dishonorable or improper.


But guilt, Brene’ argues, is different. Guilt says to us, “Hey, slow down. Stop and think about that for a minute. You sure screwed up, now how can you do it better next time?”

Guilt is your mentor. It asks you to be a grown up. There is no hiding with guilt. Guilt asks you to take an honest look at your actions and figure out a way to do it better. Guilt doesn’t give up on you. Guilt believes in you and all you are capable of. Guilt helps you to course correct so you can do better next time.

So, what are you hiding?

Whatever it is, as long as it stays hidden it will continue to grow, impacting your decisions and your actions and most of all your ability to feel worthy enough to receive.

It doesn’t matter how many self help books you read, how long you sit in meditation or how many affirmations you say to yourself in the mirror, As long as you hide, you will unconsciously side with team shame and you will struggle to perceive, let alone, receive the abundance that is there for you.

But when you shine a light on shame, you realize that there was gold hiding underneath that facade. Those “flaws” end up being your most fascinating and lovable personality traits. Those “mistakes” become the exact feedback you need to move forward. The past, when shared, heals you and heals others too. Everything about you that you hide is a source of inspiration.

And that’s when it hits you: You Are Enough. You are so ridiculously more than enough. You are the living, breathing embodiment of abundance.

Here are 3 steps to uncover your “enoughness”:

1. Just say NO to black or white thinking. Or dichotomous thinking as psychologists call it… It’s the tendency to see things in black or white. While most of us understand on a logical level that everything is a shade of grey, the majority of us label our personality traits or our past as either “good” or “bad.” Everything, I mean everything, encompasses both the shadow and the light. Here’s my guarantee, your flaws, your mistakes, even the tragedies you have endured make you special in a powerful way that no one else can claim.

2. Uncover your shame. There is no such thing as a bad personality, only a stifled one. Here are some questions to help you access your hidden shame:

  • What about yourself do you consider your biggest flaws?
  • What do you hide about yourself?
  • What are some things you enjoy that you don’t want anyone to know about?
  • What bugs you about other people (you spot it, you got it as they say)

3. Take everything you can find about yourself that you have been hiding underneath a façade of likability, perfection and selflessness and reframe it into a positive trait immediately.

To give you an example, I love to watch reality TV. I used to be embarrassed about it. I thought it proved I was a superficial and shallow person. When I reframe my obsession with Survivor (my favorite) as a positive, I see that it doesn’t make me superficial. Quite the opposite in fact. I like reality TV because I find people fascinating. I want to see beyond the facade and know them on a deeper level. Not sure if this is what I truly get when I watch a show like Survivor, but it’s why I gravitate to the genre. And it’s what makes me a great life coach.

Never forget, when you hide Who You Are, you render invisible the very parts of you that fascinate, heal and inspire the people you were meant to serve.

You are the living, breathing embodiment of enough.

So… What are you hiding? How could this actually be your gold? Leave a comment below because I LOVE that!

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3 Responses

  1. Sally says:

    I love the stuff you write. I have spent years and years reading every sort of self help, spiritual , philosophical book you can imagine; as I too am fascinated about what makes people tick. Things are never black and white and there are so many layers and dynamics. I love watching What not to wear, and any of those sort of tv shows. I really enjoy seeing people transform and gain their confidence from a few smll changes in mind set as to how they dress and present themselves. I can do without watching action, violence, horror!
    The way you write is totally original and very honest and refreshing. I relate to so much of what you write and you have a way of making us realize that so many of us have the same fears, shame, guilt etc… Thank you for that.

  2. sandy says:

    There are two things that really jump out at me here: drinking more than I’d care to admit, and a strong dislike I have for a couple who I think of as phony, social-climbing, always having parties to acquire friendships for self-serving reasons rather than genuine warmth and caring. (You spot it you got it? Ouch!)

    Drinking: I am a sensitive person who takes big risks to live the life of my dreams. I aspire to find a healthier way to manage the anxiety that comes with that, but maybe the world needs passionate open-hearted dreamers putting themselves out there.

    Couple: I am a poised, successful person with an active professional life requiring an extensive network of relationships. It’s simply not possible for all of those connections to be deep and profound, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be caring in their own right. I am often generous with my time, energy and resources to people I don’t know well.

  3. Carley says:

    This really strikes a nerve for me. I find it harder to feel like I am enough whenever I come home to my parents’ house for the holidays, despite the fact that I have a demonstrative loving family. Part of this is that I am more sensitive and emotional than my family. Well, today when I pulled in to the driveway I was overcome with grief for our wonderful smart dog that we lost a few months ago suddenly to lymphoma. Instead of crying it out in the car and then walking in to the house (HIDING/SHAME behavior) I decided to walk right in to the kitchen and cry in front of everyone. Meanwhile I got lots of nice hugs and then the whole family joined me in a circle holding hands around the cairn where his ashes are in the backyard. It was exactly what I wanted to do, and felt like aligning with the Truth. Yes!

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