The ugly business of “not enough-ness” and why I don’t buy into certification.
We are bred into a culture of doing more. We try to do all of the things. We can’t seem to do enough- searching for more acceptance, love, appreciation, validation, and success.
As a society, and within our culture, most humans suffer from “not enough-ness.” Some may not even realize that they suffer from this detrimental condition, but chances are high- it’s negatively affecting some aspect of your life… And- it’s time for it to stop.
I have suffered from not feeling like enough for a long time. From not being able to keep up when I was learning to read, to being rejected on the elementary school playground, to over a decade of fighting with an eating disorder, to always struggling with my finances and my ability to succeed at doing what I love- My self esteem has been low- and it has shown up in so many ways throughout my life that it’s actually disturbing.
Today I was talking to one of my best friends about the business of certification. And perhaps many businesses in general- who feed on a culture who believe they need to do more to be better- a patriarchal system of overachieving and perfectionism.
These businesses operate grossly and maliciously on the masses. They prey on all those who feel like they aren’t enough. Sadly, their market is huge!
Most of us suffer from low self-esteem… This feeling of not being “enough.” You have probably heard this before… The stories are ageless: “you just need this! AND then you will be good enough,” or “all you need is this product, training, course, certification, whatever, and at last- you will be enough.”
It sounds familiar because it’s everywhere. We live in a consumerist culture that feeds off your biggest insecurities… in particular- you not feeling like enough.
Once, not so long ago, I was considering certification for a movement methodology that I was very committed to. I was convinced that if I was certified, I would be more prepared, more intelligent, more skilled, more equipped, more accepted, more integrated, more appreciated… more more more… What? It started to feel viscerally wrong. Very wrong.
So I said no. No more.
I did not follow through with certification. (Which had very interesting ramifications!) I was tired of trying to prove my worth. I was tired of hearing: “just go practice some more- you’ll be ready/good enough/prepared enough soon!”
It felt gross. It was gross.
It was just an ugly game.
The reason that I will never certify students to teach is because they don’t need me to validate them. They don’t need anyone to validate them or give them the go-ahead- “you’re ready now!”
They need to feel this within themselves. They need to know- they are enough, and they always have been.
I will always show my students the way. I will be an example, guide them, teach them, love them, and build their confidence in every way I can.
But handing out a certificate will not help them to succeed. It will not prove to anyone anything, especially not to themselves.
A certificate does not make you better. It does not validate your worth or expertise or any other aspect of yourself. Your value and worth is not determined by anyone other than yourself.
The real proof of success is believing in yourself. It’s finally realizing that- it’s time to stop looking for anyone else to validate your offering, your teaching, your ability, your success. It’s time to bring it back home and validate yourself.
Take a moment to breathe in deeply. Breathe every bit of your power back.
You are enough. You always have been. It feels good to stop seeking external validation, appreciation, love… It feels good to finally know- you’re perfect. And if you think you can, you can.
It’s enough. You are enough. And now you can fly, butterfly. xo