My husband doesn’t cook much, and that’s being generous. If he were in charge of dinner he may warm up some corn dogs, get out some cereal and milk, or if he felt really ambitious he may even make some scrambled eggs and toast. If the eggs were overdone and the toast was a little dark, he would still be proud of his efforts and serve it happily.
I, On the other hand, could spend hours cooking and prepping a meal, but when it’s all said and done, I’d find myself picking it apart and apologizing for its imperfections. This doesn’t only happen in the kitchen: I see it in nearly every aspect of life. Why is it so easy to devalue our abilities and focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than on what we’ve accomplished, or who we truly are?
Dieter F. Uchtdorf says that this trait also points to a very admirable quality: the desire to please the Lord to the best of our abilities. Trying to please the Lord, or even those around us, may be admirable, but could it also contribute to feeling like we fall short? So many of us expect perfection and, let’s face it, we are all far from it.
So here’s the question:
If you could write down a sentence or two that comes from that little voice in your head that you wish you didn’t have to listen to, what would it say?
I asked a number of friends and family (mostly women) this question and their responses were strikingly similar.
“That little voice is always telling me that I’m not:
We fight it by telling ourselves we really are enough, but we don’t always believe it and underneath it all, we might even think we aren’t loveable.
In a TED talk given by Kent Hoffman, he tells of a professor he had once who changed his entire perspective on the world. After an introduction to the class he wrote down these words:
“Every person you will ever meet has infinite worth.”
Most of us tend to put people into categories, sometimes knowing little or nothing about them and the path they walk. Okay and not okay, nice and not nice, acceptable and not acceptable. I loved it when he said, “No person is worth more than any other person. Because all of us underneath our exterior share the same miraculous infinite worth.”
Each of us has a beautiful and unrepeatable jewel inside of us. There is no formula to make it come forth, no five bullet points or seven step process I can give you. Infinite worth is simply something we begin to recognize. In his attachment theory research, Hoffman found that when one feels emotionally secure, they share a single awareness: I am lovable and loved. For a lot of us, it’s not easy to see ourselves this way because we focus on judgments, comparisons, and all those “not enoughs.” What we are left with is discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness.
I have struggled with the “you aren’t good enoughs” since the day I got married. My husband is easy going. He holds no grudges and is easy to get along with. He doesn’t ask for a whole lot to be happy. However, anytime we get in an argument I end up feeling like I’m just not enough.
The other day we were driving to a dinner and I was telling him some feelings I was having after a misunderstanding between the two of us. The “not enoughs” came up. He simply said, “I have never felt that way. I have never said those things and it’s just not what really is.”
I went quiet. Then why do I constantly tell this to myself? Why do I feel these feelings of inadequacy?
Our infinite worth is much more than how we look, what we do, how well or poorly we do it, more than who we think we are and those painful words we keep telling ourselves. Your infinite worth is why, no matter what, you are loveable.
Hoffman states, “The surprising news is that to the degree that we are able to see infinite worth in others, we are able to begin to see it in ourselves.”
The reason I keep telling myself I’m not enough is this – I’m so busy worrying about being the mom whose kids are disheveled, who forgot to send a teacher appreciation gift, whose house is messy, and whose kids spend way too much time on their iPads. I’m the wife who didn’t plan dinner, who spends too many days in sloppy sweats, and who forgot to mention how proud I am of my family. I should be focusing on being happy with doing my best even if that day my best is 40%. I should be focusing on exercising my faith and showing more gratitude and charity to others. I should focus on seeing myself through the Savior’s eyes, because with him, I AM ENOUGH!
The good news: As Christians we get the unwavering knowledge that we are loveable and we are definitely loved. Our Savior Jesus Christ made the greatest sacrifice for each and every single one of us because of His love for us. We each have infinite worth and He is the one who can always see it in us. He knows how special we are – how important, how beautiful we are. We are enough in His eyes. If we are good enough in His eyes, we can, without a doubt, believe that it’s true.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained it perfectly. “I believe that as you are faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, as you draw closer to Him in faith, hope, and charity, things will work together for your good.14 I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father…and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love.15 Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment. You are a treasured daughter of our Heavenly Father with infinite worth.”
The more I focus on our Savior and the infinite worth of others, the more I begin to see it in myself. The more I see it in myself, the faster those feelings of inadequacy and exhaustion seem to melt away. They creep back almost on a daily basis, but I now know the key to crushing that pesky voice in my head. It’s simply to use our Savior’s grace. I love my Savior so much! I promise as you learn to see infinite worth in others and strive to see yourself through the Savior’s eyes, you will begin to see your true worth, and all of those “not enoughs” can turn into “I am lovable. I am loved. I AM ENOUGH. ”
Lesa can either be found running up the miles on her minivan with a top bun and no make-up, or inside a gym watching a sporting event. Her husband is a former professional basketball player turned coach and together they have lived in 9 countries and have had 5 little ones who all seemed to inherit their dad’s tall genes and have already started passing Lesa up. She played collegiate soccer and graduated in Exercise and Sport Science. Since then she has earned her CrossFit level 1, CrossFit Endurance, and CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist). In her spare time (LOL) she loves helping others actually find joy in being active and maybe even finding a piece of themselves they never knew existed. With all of this, she strives mostly to keep a happy, spirit filled home among all the crazy, chaotic noise