Three Things to Do When You Feel Like You’re Not Doing Enough

Ten minutes on social media was all I needed to start going down a negative spiral. I hopped on, started scrolling, and my timeline confronted me with friends, peers, and students doing extraordinary things. 

My friend Kat is launching a spiritual healing school. A person I admire joined Julie on her podcast; past students are killing it on social media, sharing vulnerable, funny, and insightful posts.

Immediately I felt like I wasn’t doing enough

It’s the duality of wanting to be supportive to be a champion of people I know and love and the feelings of “not-enoughness.” The feelings came up quickly and took me by surprise. 

Luckily I was conscious enough in the moment to catch how I was feeling and put my phone down. But the feelings didn’t go away as quickly.

I found myself unsettled and unsure.

Because I’m not doing enough is a mask for the core feeling –I’M NOT ENOUGH.

Gah, gut-punch!

About an hour later, I was on Zoom with Kirstine, my virtual assistant. We were planning out her day (she works in the Philippines). I do a FB Live every Sunday at 6 pm PT, and I scheduled a talk about the questions potential clients need to answer before they say yes to working with a coach. (I promise I’ll get to that!)

But then, in my unsettled and uncertain energy, I blurted out, “I’m feeling shaken right now and a little lost; I feel like I’m not doing enough.” 

She smiled coyly and said, “Maybe that’s what you should talk about on your FB Live.”

Ah, she got me!

She knew what I needed to do before I did, so I took her up on her suggestion. You can rewatch the FB Live here.

In this post, I’m going to share with you three things I did to help break free from the negative spiral hoping that you might want to experiment with some of these tactics yourself. I can’t promise they will work for you, but I do know I’m not alone in having these feelings of “not-enoughness” pop up when you least expect them. 

1 – Change Your Environment

When I couldn’t settle my energy I took my dog, Tori, outside for a walk. I got outside and breathed purposefully, and looked up at the palm trees and blue sky. 

John Kim, AKA The Angry Therapist, gave me some sage advice years ago. He said, get out of your house to get out of your head. When you’re triggered or feeling anxious for some reason, get outdoors if possible. 

Changing your environment can disrupt repetitive thoughts by giving you a new physical perspective. The more you can connect to the outside world, the quieter those voices may become. 

2 – Share Your Feelings With Someone You Trust

I loved Kirstine’s response to the feelings I shared with her. She didn’t dismiss them or try to tell me I shouldn’t feel that way. Instead, gently, she acknowledged me and gave me an action to share even more. 

Now, she knows me reasonably well, and she instinctively knew that encouraging me to talk to my followers about this wouldn’t send me into a deeper slide. 

For some people, though, the idea of talking about feelings of “not-enoughness” might bring on more shame and anxiety. 

Ideally, you’ll want to find a person who can acknowledge your feelings with care and compassion and validate you. We cannot do life alone. 

Additionally, I think EVERYONE needs at least one friend who you can call 24/7 to remind you of just how FREAKING AMAZING you are when needed. 

3 – Reflect on All That Your ARE Doing

To counteract the feeling of “I’m not doing enough,” when I came back inside after walking Tori, I took a moment to reflect on all that I am doing. This is what I wrote:

I realized I am DOING enough.

and more importantly I was reminded I AM enough.

Taking time to reflect on the many things I’m doing and being grateful for them was a true antidote. Doing this work also allowed me to be in awe of the cool things the people in my life are doing without the second wave of unworthiness to chase it. 

So, that’s it, my friend, a three-step method that helped me reverse the negative spiral. 

If you experiment with any of these tactics, let me know. And I would love to hear what you do for yourself outside of these things to help settle your nervous system.