You Are Enough

Woman in Red (You Are Enough)

You Are Enough | Darling Magazine

I’ve known some amazing women during my short time on earth; total knockout beauties, marathon runners, artists, writers, incredible mothers, gourmet chefs, comedians… you name it. And let me tell you, these women have inspired me to my very core. However, being surrounded by such beauty, such talent, and such goodness—it can sometimes be really tough on a girl. As women, we tend to indulge in the awful and extremely damaging habit of comparing ourselves against one another. We often measure our worth by examining at how we stack up against our peers. We live in constant fear that someone is going to come along who is “better” than us. We are afraid that they might be smarter than us, prettier than us, thinner than us, funnier than us, more stylish than us, and so on and so forth.

I remember an observation I made while having a conversation with a girlfriend in college. We were sitting at a table in the middle of campus surrounded by people. I found that I could tell just by looking at her face whether it was a man or a woman standing behind me. If it were a man she would look much more relaxed. She would smile and laugh freely, sitting up a bit taller. If it were a woman behind me, however, her smile would fade as she pursed her lips. Her eyebrows would raise and her eyes would slowly move up and down, completely scoping out the girl behind me. There is no other way of saying it, she was checking out the “competition.” She was measuring herself against these girls that she didn’t even know! And then I realized that I knew what she was doing because it hit a little too close to home. It was a behavior that was all too familiar to me.

Why do we do this as women, as humans? Why do we feel this need to compare? It’s certainly not the way that we were created to interact and be in relationship with one another. I have found the hard way that when you compare yourself to others you will

never feel as though you measure up. You’ll never feel as though you are “enough,” and that’s the biggest lie you could ever believe because you are enough. You are more than enough just the way you are right now.

How do we combat this dangerous cycle? We must choose grace. We must choose to take it easy on one another, and to be kind to other women. We must choose to believe that we have something to offer this world than no one else can. You have something inside of you that is so unique and so good. Next time you are tempted to compare yourself to someone else, look deep inside of yourself. Explore and find out what it is that makes you different, what it is that makes you feel special and beautiful and whole. Take hold of whatever it is you find and don’t ever let it go. Draw upon it whenever you are feeling like you aren’t enough. Let it shine and glow though you.

If you are a painter, paint. If you are a writer, write. If you are a lover, love. Don’t worry about whether or not someone else can do it better than you. No one else can be you, and you were created in the image of a perfect creator. Don’t allow comparison to rob you of your uniqueness, your imagination, your light and your joy.

Image via That Kind Of Woman

Erin Willis-McNeely is a currently a Masters student in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theologically Seminary. When she is not a slave to the schoolbooks, she is a newlywed, a nanny, a music lover and a mama to one crazy puppy.

  • Kim September 12, 2013

    I had to come back and revisit this old favorite of mine today. It’s amazing how often I need this reminder. Thankful that Darling provides us a place to be reminded of these things. Love the new website, too!

  • Jessica September 12, 2013

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this today… it is EXACTLY what I needed to read! Such a beautiful truth, thank you to the writer and to Darling for posting such an important message.

  • Laney May 2, 2013

    Wow! What sweet words and inspiration! I am so blessed by your encouragement and it is exactly what I needed to hear!

  • Lizzie April 10, 2013

    When I read the first paragraph I was thinking in my head if I could describe myself as any of these and whether or not I could be as cool as the girl in the photograph if I just got a hat like that!!! So reading the rest of the post has made me think hard about my automatic go-to response when faced with other women who I perceive as cooler than me. Why do we need to keep comparing ourselves, we are all beautifully flawed in our own special ways, which is also that which connects us.
    Thank you for reminding me of this x0

  • Beauty! Thank you for this post. I will be sharing it and I hope and wish and pray that we women can share more of each others’ successes. Nicely done!

  • Katie C February 20, 2013

    this is utterly lovey. I just finished writing it over fresh paint in my art journal and am meditating on it now. comparison robs us empty handed, but choosing grace leaves us full. Thank you for writing so beautifully and inspiring my soul. love katie

  • Mary McCallum February 17, 2013

    thank you- truth is spoken with clarity and we all need to stop and think about what we do our ourselves with this self defeating behavior.

  • Marie February 8, 2013

    Beautiful post!!

  • Michael F February 3, 2013

    Once we realize how unique we really are our world becomes that much more enjoyable.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Joe H February 2, 2013

    This behavior may have to do with our primal instincts to find a mate. It’s just instinct to compete with each other.

  • Maggie January 29, 2013

    I feel like I should print this off and hang it up as a reminder. Amazing!

  • Kathryn January 28, 2013

    This is perfect. Thank you for these beautiful words!

  • Joy G January 28, 2013

    Love this! Thank you so much for crafting this beautiful reminder for us. I’m currently reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, and he says that we are happy to the extent that we do not compare ourselves to others. So simple, but not easy!

  • Sarah January 27, 2013

    Thank you, I needed to hear this. I definitely agree – “No one else can be you, and you were created in the image of a perfect creator.”

  • Elisa B January 27, 2013

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. Yes, we could all use more grace with each other and for ourselves!