An addiction to admiration, attention, and appreciation.

That’s a thing.

I know, because I have it.

It’s there, every single day.

And it’s a very, very sad thing, not because it’s so superficial or habitual or weak, but because it’s all about obscuring a powerful, painful misunderstanding.

‘I’m not good enough.’

God, I had NO idea.

But it makes sense.

Even after thousands and thousands of grateful (online) remarks, after hundreds of emails from people who saw their lives change when reading my blogs and books, after having produced a bestseller (and seven more books), after writing a couple of songs for a female singer I admire a lot, after building a successful ad agency, and after quitting a bunch of nasty habits, I still feel like being in the wrong place doing the wrong thing very often.

It’s literally never enough.

No amount of studying and reflecting and working hard and learning and working even harder and receiving praise and trying and trying again, seems to do the trick of filling the void, although the distraction it brings obviously serves a purpose.

And it’s not all bad, of course.

I write and tweet and make videos because I really like doing that, I love creating stuff and being in that process, and I learn a lot about myself while doing it.

I also do it because I believe I have to, as a coach who needs to establish himself in a world full of coaches, who has to stay relevant and edgy and top-of-mind.

And, yes, I do it because of the acknowledgments.

The likes, the comments, the retweets, the direct messages.

But it’s literally never, fucking, enough.

The soothing effect of all that stuff wears off almost immediately, and the hunger for more never really goes away, because this apparent hole in me is insatiable.

It’s almost like I’m an inflatable doll, covered with an endless amount of tiny holes that keep appearing everywhere and constantly need to be repaired with patches of outside validation.

It’s an unwinnable game that I keep playing nonetheless, and what makes it worse is that I’m fairly good at it.

It IS an addiction, though.

It’s a universal coping mechanism.

And it CAN be a doorway to liberation and wholeness, once you’re willing to face it.

I had no idea my sense of not being good enough was so huge, so ingrained, so devastatingly dense, but I’m realizing it more and more, and it’s just sad, very sad.

Thinking about it makes me sick, and I’m thinking about it all the time.

But at least I’m thinking about it, acknowledging it.

Feeling it.

The hole of not being good enough can’t be filled, ever, because it’s not really a hole.

It’s a misunderstanding, based on the interpretations of a scared kid, and the dreadful conclusions that followed.

‘I’m not good enough.’

What if I really am?

(Photo by @vorosbenisop, for Unsplash)