I’m not good enough is one of my favorite lizard lies because for many years it held such power over me. This one little lie caused so much suffering. It seems to be a story that many of my clients’ lizards tell to them often as well.
I’m not good enough is a variation of the ultimate lizard lie: I’m not enough. This lie has many variations: I’m not attractive enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not appreciated enough, I’m not wealthy enough, I’m not funny enough.
You see where this is going. Try to get into a relationship or create a relationship with those thoughts looming around and you’re probably going nowhere fast.
Any time you have a fear of lack about who you are, it usually boils down to not being enough of something. Because this thought causes suffering, it is a thought that needs to be challenged. All thoughts that cause suffering need to be challenged or they will continue to stick around, causing more suffering. (I prefer to challenge my lizard lies with The Work of Byron Katie, so that is the process demonstrated below. See thework.com for more information).
Here’s an example from one of my dear clients, who has given me permission to share the dissolving of her lizard lie with you.
Y: Maybe you’re right about that. That’s the thought. I feel like I’m not enough, that’s why I keep trying so hard all of the time.
Me: Y., you’re not enough. Is that true?
Y: Well, I mean I don’t want to believe that I actually think that but that’s what it seems like.
Me: Can you be absolutely sure that you are not enough?
Y: No. I can’t be sure.
Me: How do you feel when you think that you are not enough? How do you act, how do you react?
Y: I try harder. I always try harder. I think if I could just look a certain way, or act a certain way, then it would be good. I would find somebody who wants to be with me. If I could just get it right.
Me: And how does that feel?
Y: Awful. I hate it. I’m tired of always trying and trying and trying. I feel like I’m not being me.
Me: Who would you be without this thought that you are not enough?
Y: I’m not sure.
Me: Sit here with me and tell me who you would be if you could not think that thought. The thought has disappeared. Who would you be, right here, sitting here, without that thought?
Y: Ummm, I would be happy! (chuckles) I mean, without the thought I’d be great. I’d be fine. Not trying so hard all the time to get people to like me. I would be me.
Me: Is there a stress-free reason to keep this thought?
Y: (pause) Stress-free? (another pause) I’m not sure what you mean.
Me: With this thought, the thought that you’re not enough, you’ve told me, let me see what I wrote down here. Oh yes. You’re trying and trying. You’re trying to act a certain way or to seem a certain way to other people. You don’t feel like you’re being your true self. Without the thought, you said you feel happy, fine, not trying so hard and that you would just be you. It sounds like this thought is causing you a lot of stress. Is there a stress-free reason, then, to keep this thought?
Y: No. Definitely not.
*Me: Okay. Let’s find the opposite of your original thought. I’m not enough, let’s find the opposite of that thought.
Y: The opposite of I’m not enough?
Me: Yes. What’s the opposite of I’m not enough?
Y: Got it. Well, obviously, I AM enough.
Me: Why could that be just as true as your original thought?
Y: Because I am enough just being me. Who I am is enough. I don’t need to be anyone else. I don’t need to keep trying to be anyone else. Who I am is who I am supposed to be. I am enough.
Me: Good. Now give me some specific examples of why it is true that you are enough.
Y: Specific examples…. Ok. I am enough because I have a lot of people in my life who love me. I am enough because I love me. I am enough because I’m here and there’s a reason why I’m on this planet as me. I am enough because I am here.
Me: How does that feel? This new thought?
Y: (laughs) Well, definitely much better!
So that’s how you set yourself free. Find your own lizard lie that says you’re not enough of something, and use the process of Byron Katie’s Inquiry to dissolve the lies that cause you stress and suffering.
*In The Work, Byron Katie has her clients turn-around their original thoughts to their direct opposite, to themselves and to their thinking. In this particular session, I felt that Y. turning around her original thought just to its direct opposite would help shed some light in an area where she was stuck. For the sake of time during her session, we did not complete all 3 Turn-Arounds.