A lot of my fears play off of each other, but are unique enough to be labeled as an individual fear. This is a fear that has blanketed my entire existence for as long as I can remember.
Not Being Enough. A lot of people ask me what that means and I don’t have a set answer. It depends on the situation in question, who I feel I am not enough for. Things like that all cause this fear to vary, to shift in shape and form.
The first things that come to my mind when I think about that phrase are not being smart enough, not being small enough, not being good enough, not being what the people around me need.. The list could literally go on forever.
I have always suffered from self esteem issues, anxiety issues.. I think all of that combines to compound to make this fear a supreme driving force in my life.
I am afraid of never feeling like I am enough, or that I have enough to offer to the world around me. I want to be smart enough to get through life and improve the world around me. I have a twin who is exceptionally gifted in the academic department. She has always set the bar high for us, even though we ARE two separate people, no one sees that. We have always been constantly compared and in the academic department was no exception. I was always found to be the twin with the smaller intellect. I think part of where that fear comes from was taking the same classes in high school, even though we were both in all advanced classes, she did get better grades. She was incredibly devoted to her academia and her school work and I struggled with my anxiety and depression which caused a lot of anger and lack of focus on my school work in high school. As such, she graduated in the top 10% (We had a small class so that was only the top 13 students) and she received a full ride scholarship which also paid her to attend that university since she was going to be in the Honors Society on campus. College was better for us, we had different majors and we got to develop our own interests. Everything from high school came rushing back though when I got to my spring semester for my 4th year in college and realized, I wouldn’t be graduating on time. She was, with 2 majors, nonetheless. I remember at her graduation party being constantly asked by family members and friends of the family what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t as smart as her. And my self esteem plummeted again. That was one more thing to compound that as being one of my greatest fears.
Not being small enough.. to explain all of the ways this applies to my life could literally make a book. My boyfriend, who loves me and supports me at whatever size I happen to be, has only ever dated size 2-5 or smaller. Until me. I am TERRIFIED of not being small enough to maintain my relationship. In my head I have a constant daily battle with myself, my scale, my mirror… I see him with someone smaller, thinner, skinnier.. He is wonderful and deserves someone who makes him happy (he has NO problem being with me or our relationship, so I know this fear is all in my head, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with). I stay on a strict diet and I am very active. I run 5K runs and recently did my first 10K and I have my first half marathon in just a few short weeks. I have lost over 100 pounds from my heaviest point in life and to be honest.. When I look in the mirror, I see NO difference. I have all of my physical flaws from before. Stretch marks, a large belly, a lower belly pooch, flabby arms, chubby cheeks, a jiggly butt and thighs.. I am scared I will never be happy or proud of the work I have done. Is there even such a thing as being small enough?
Not being good enough is almost self explanatory. It can include several of my other fears listed, being a disappointment, being a let down to my family and friends, etc. But it FEELS like more than that. Not being good enough at my job, not being good enough for my family, not being good enough for me boyfriend. There are so many insecurities built into one sentence. If I am not good enough at my job will I get promoted? Fired? Not being good enough for my family? Will they like me? I know they have to love me, but that doesn’t mean they will always like me or my choices. Not being good enough for my boyfriend, again with the being small enough, will he love me if I were to get pregnant? Gain weight? Am I going to push him away with my insecurities? As a personal fear (since he has a little more experience than I do..) am I going to be good enough in bed? Will he get bored with me? So many things I have to fall short on.. Thankfully school is no longer on the list, but I have tossed around the idea of going to graduate school to further my career at some point.. That would be another insecurity to add to my list. Not being good enough to get through school with great grades, not being good enough to go through school and actually get a career advancement when it comes down to it.. A whole new can of worms. I have to weigh the decision to go back to school very, very carefully. Lot’s to think about.
To sum it all up.. What if I don’t end up being good enough for the people around me? A very general way to wrap all of the pieces of my fear into one statement. Even after years of therapy, I can’t make it go away. I can’t make my mind turn off and just shut off all of the irrational parts of my fear. Especially this one.
Again, I know all of my fears build off of each other, minus a few of the more obvious ones (heights, spiders..), so expect to hear some of the same things wrong with the way my brain is wired when I get to some of the ones further down the list but hopefully I can explain why they all feel differently and can be classified as different fears.
Now to end Fear Number 1.
Thanks for reading!