You Are Enough: The Journey To Accepting Your Authentic Self


Photo©Iakov Filimonov/123rf

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  —  Maya Angelou

Who among us hasn’t heard that inner voice gaslighting us by reinforcing the mantra “You are not good enough”? Humans are plagued with incessant feelings of uncertainty about who we are. We live in a society that constantly ingrains in our consciousness — and to a more pernicious extent, subconscious — that we are somehow inadequate while navigating life on this planet.

One of the components contributing to this enigma of the nature of the psyche is that we constantly compare ourselves to others. We think we should be who we think others are. We think we should have what others have. However, by participating in this type of rumination we deprive ourselves of what we could actually be if we focused on our own set of talents and Earthly gifts. What was meant for you does not necessarily align with my authentic self and vice versa.

I find myself coming alive when I focus on the things that bring me joy, the things I am passionate about and the things that I look forward to doing. Whether that be writing, exercising, reading a good book or the pleasure I get from watching my favorite episode of reality TV, what makes me smile may not be what makes you smile. That has to be okay if we are to find our own joys while navigating our own paths.

Comparing ourselves to others can compress our possibilities for potential growth in all areas of our lives. When you’re on the right path, things just magically seem to fall into place. You don’t have to try to manipulate the environment around you to get desired results. In the words of Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker of The Color Purple fame, “The right path disappears beneath your feet.”

Suffering in life only comes when you resist the natural flow of things, thus the wisdom in “going with the flow.” In the words of the late spiritual guru Ram Dass, “Resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.” Essentially, we must embrace our defeats just as we rejoice over our victories. We must follow the energy that awakens the fire of the heart, and greet life with gusto and optimism, not sorrow and pessimism. Do not allow misconceived notions of who you think you’re supposed to be, keep you from being who you were meant to be.

Finding Your Own Way

When you’ve skidded off your path in life, you’ll find that your pathological ruminations run amok. Every step you take becomes more and more frazzled with uncertainty, which ignites massive insecurities and demoralizing self-doubt.  It can be helpful to counter this psychological attack with a technique called opposite action used in cognitive behavior therapy.

Opposite action means negating what your mind is telling you is true. If it’s telling you that you are a loser, then you counteract that with, “Well, although I’ve suffered losses, I’ve also achieved many gains,” and then list them. Opposite action allows you to recalibrate your path and trajectory, despite the push back from your pathological mind that is preprogramed with past hurts and failures.

While all humans have a natural aversion to pain and we don’t like to be uncomfortable, discomfort can pave the way forward along our healing paths. It is said that, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Growth requires stretching into zones of discomfort and the uncertainty of what is unfamiliar. In his podcast Doing the Real Work to Free yourself, author Michael Singer asserts that, “Sometimes the deepest pain is what pushes you to your highest self….It is in the moments of freefall that you find your wings.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 5 Lessons To Live By

In closing I would like to share the late Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “5 Lessons to Live By” that will help anyone trekking their own path to personal awakening.

  1. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
  2. There are no justified resentments.
  3. What you think is what you become.
  4. Be open to everything and attached to nothing.
  5. Don’t die with music still in you.

Jacques Fleury is a Haitian-American poet, educator and author of three books. His first book “Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir about life in Haiti and America” was featured in the Boston Globe. His other books, Chain Letter to America: The One Thing You Can Do to End Racism, and It’s always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories explore varied aspects of life in Haiti and America. Visit him at

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