I Am Enough

Joanne Rusch, Ron & Michelle

I Am Enough

Episode 12: I Am Enough

Michelle asks Ron: When you hear “I am enough,” what do you think of?

Ron says the first thing that comes to his mind is about leaving things in the past and not letting them “live” in himself today. Instead of remembering failures, which makes him think “I am not enough,” he is appreciative of all his past experiences and makes space for himself to be enough today, in any situation.

Michelle introduces their special guest, Joanne Rusch, and asks her the same question: What story do you create when you hear “I am enough”?

Joanne says that it means she’s not missing anything -- everything she needs is already within her. She’s accepting and celebrating that her past experiences have set her up for this moment.

How can you shift the story from “I am not enough” to “I am enough”?

Ron says that it’s a constant process of self talk, and it doesn’t happen all at once.
His favorite way to talk to himself is by saying “I surrender to ‘I am enough’ right now.” Using this language for the past 7-8 years, it’s opened space for him to be who he is.

Michelle shares a story about her experience learning to play tennis. She wonders whether there is a point where she should aim to be “more” instead of being “enough.”

Ron says, when we’re learning something new, it’s important to go out and make space to simply be enough, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be open to getting better.

Joanne says that what helps her is reminding herself she’s a work in progress. Even when she wants to be really good at something, it gives her space to remember that she has to go through the process of getting there, and that it’s okay. And she says it also helps her stay open to needing help -- being enough doesn’t mean that you never should need help

Michelle asks Joanne whether there was a time when she started out feeling “I’m not enough” and then, after shifting to “I am enough, things started to change.

Joanne says that in the past she wouldn’t shift her story because she would give up too easily, but she shares a story about getting diagnosed with cancer. While she wasn’t sure what to expect, she celebrated because she realized she had everything within her to do whatever came next.

Ron shares a story about being asked to speak to an entrepreneur group. As he walked up to the front of the room to speak, he told himself “I surrender to ‘I am enough.” It opened up a space for him to bring everything he was in the moment.

He reiterates Joanne’s comment from before, about how being enough doesn’t mean you never need help. In fact, it makes you more open and vulnerable to asking for and accepting the help you need.

Michelle shares a story about how the “I am enough” story made a significant shift for her. She was selected to be an interim CIO for a $2 billion company in Japan and she felt that she wasn’t qualified to be there. Even though she thought this story was in her head, people could tell. And the CEO of the company told her “You belong here.”

How can you help someone who holds the story that they aren’t enough? Ron says that the first step is paying attention. Then, the space is there to acknowledge them, and to tell them that you’re scared, too. Nothing makes it more okay to be scared than someone else sharing that they’re scared, too.

Joanne agrees that it’s important to pay attention to other people. But she admits that sometimes it’s hard to imagine that other people are scared. Even those people who seem like they have it all together, may be the ones who most need someone to tell them “I believe in you.”

Joanne shares a story about someone she worked with who was often picked on by the person they reported to. This person was new in her career, and she felt that she wasn’t enough. Joanne felt that it was important to call out her contributions and tell her she was making a difference, which helped her stand her ground in conversations with the manager. Later on, she came back to Joanne and told her what a big difference it made.

Ron shares a story about someone he worked with who became a project manager. They said, “We believe in you,” and he eventually ended up setting a world record for how fast they got the process done. But three different times before that, he packed up all of his stuff to leave because he felt that he wasn’t enough. But when he shifted his story, he was able to believe in himself.

Another story is about a person who was brought in to be an auditor. While many people within a business may see an auditor as an enemy, Ron talked to him about what was going on, and the auditor told Ron that he wanted to be on Ron’s team because of the way he believes in his team. Within six weeks, everyone saw Dave, the auditor, as an ally.

Michelle asks Ron and Joanne: What practices do you have to shift your mindset to “I am enough”

Ron says that for him, the most powerful step is having a group that understands and knows all of this along with you. People who can have an open, authentic conversation with others who can remind you when you’re having a hard time remembering you are enough. The next step is practicing to help other people remember they are enough, because it also helps you.

Joanne says she comes up with a better story than “I am not enough.” She might tell herself, “I am not the right person for this.” It’s okay to get frustrated, but then put it on the shelf for a little while and let it go.

Michelle says it’s helpful for her to think about how she doesn’t want others to need to “pull her out of it” when she’s feeling like she’s not enough.

Joanne says it’s important to periodically question how the stories about not feeling like you’re enough are preventing you from launching the stories of what could be and what’s possible. If you were enough, what could you do and where would you be? Sometimes we limit ourselves and keep ourselves in our “safe zones.” She’s been practicing having those conversations with others and then having them with herself. What could be possible?

Ron says this is the business they’re in -- if you believed in yourself, what would be possible? 30 years ago, he was in a conversation with someone who asked what he wanted to do in life. The other person didn’t believe that Ron could simply want to help people instead of just making as much money as possible. And it became important to him to make a difference for himself and the world left behind. This is what kept showing up for him.

Joanne says that when you can hold a story that “I am enough,” it’s a different way of living. When you stop being your own worst critic, the experience of life opens up. It gives you a resilience to be open to everything and enjoy everything instead of being worried about not being enough.

Michelle agrees with Ron and Joanne, and she says that when you decide you are enough, the amount of choices you have in life opens up exponentially. You can do whatever you choose. And -- Ron adds -- it’s a lot more fun.

Join us to hear how understanding the idea of “self talk” — and what you can do about it — could change your relationships and life for the better.

Episode Summary

I Am Enough

Ron and Michelle, along with guest Joanne Rusch, discuss how life can change when you choose to be enough in this episode of “The Story in Your Head.”