One of my favorite books that does a great job of capturing the embodiment of womanhood talks about the two fears women face:
I am too much.
I am not enough.
For the longest time, I thought that I lived with both fears. I had too much personality. I was too loud. But I was also not smart enough. Or pretty enough. Or fit enough.
The fear of too much was an external fear. When a boyfriend recently said “you’re too much” I went into a tailspin and shut down. At the same time I was internally fighting the fear of unworthiness.
I’ve come to realize the lie of “not being enough” was my true enemy. Being too much was just a symptom of that.
I read a passage the other day that embodied these feelings from For Women Only:
Frank Maguire helped start Federal Express and earlier held an inside position in the Kennedy White House.
Every Friday as he left the FedEx office, Maguire called his goodbyes to FedEx founder, Fred Smith, and Fred would call back, “Thanks for going the extra mile this week.” Maguire always left with a bounce in his step.
Then came the Friday when his cheery goodbye was met with, “Frank, I want to see you first thing, Monday morning.”
“I had a lousy weekend,” Maguire said. “Not only me, but my wife, my kids, even Thor, the wonder dog. We all had a miserable weekend.”
On Monday, when he nervously asked Fred, “What did you want to talk to me about?” he was met with a puzzled look. “Oh, I forgot. It wasn’t important.”
You can guess why Frank Maguire had a miserable weekend— he was expecting to be fired. But why would he think that? He was a successful, valued executive at a fast-growing business. He had even been trusted by the president of the United States. So why did he assume a neutral comment was a portent of woe?
Because inside he felt like an impostor. And he was sure he had just been found out.
What would life look like if I lived in the confidence that I am just enough? Would I be more effective? Happier? Successful? Probably.
This lent season I am trying something new. Instead of just giving up something like sugar or soda, I am going to replace my fears with positivity.
In the moments of feeling like I am not enough I am going to stop. Literally stop what I am doing and go on a 5 minute walk. During those 5 minutes I’m going to pray for peace and comfort and go through an exercise of consideration that I am “just enough.”
I have a feeling I am not the only woman experiencing these fears. If you are looking to start new habits this lent season, I invite you to join with me. Perhaps we can even take a walk together in those moments.