You Are Enough – Do You Believe It?

This is a Guest Post by Matt Ragland, a writer who explores the motivations behind our choices, and how people prioritize what is really important to them. Learn more about him on his blog and then follow him on Twitter and Google+.

I love this quote by The Avett Brothers:

If you’re loved by someone you’re never rejected, decide what to be, and go be it. tweet

Can I tell you a secret? I think you know it already, deep in your soul, but it bears repeating. You are enough. Your wonderful convergence of talent, mindset, and experiences all blend together to make a particular mark on this world.

We forget this signature fact on our souls, and get caught up in what we think is needed to be happy, contributing, respected members of society. It permeates everything in our life, and is a fact we need to repeat every single day we are alive.

So, let’s talk about work for a moment, shall we?

The work we do plays a huge role in who we are. Our work consumes the majority of our waking hours, pays the bills, and keeps food on the table. A rhythm of work is a good thing. What we need to guard against is the mindset that your work is all you are, or that a particular job or trade defines you, making you incapable of contributing in other ways.

Last month, I had to let a person go from my team. He was crushed, because the work was everything to him. Without it, he felt like a nobody; incomplete. My heart broke for him.

The work I do is incredibly meaningful and I’m passionate about it, but I know it does not define me! If I could no longer do it, I would be ok. I can find other ways to contribute, help others, and support my family. Because at the core of my being, I know I am enough. I don’t need any particular job, title, or dollar amount to prop up as evidence of who I am.

Another example is the person who finds meaning in her work because of the status, power, and possesions afforded by her salary. She has beautiful clothes, a fast car, and a luxury apartment overlooking the city. If those things are no longer an option, she feels empty.

This is NOT How Life Has to Be!

If your current job didn’t exist, what would you do? If you are let go, where would you turn? This isn’t about a hectic search of the same old same old, it’s about knowing you have enough within yourself to hustle and make things work. You have a specific set of talents and gifts which can be used to create a meaningful business.

This transition may be difficult at first, but now you are centered enough to deal with adversity. Short-term success does not define you. You may need to go out to eat less, or hold off on buying new clothes, but you can make it work. Where you check-in on Facebook, and the clothes you wear, does not define you. You may need to enjoy a stay-cation, but your family can still have fun. Where you take vacation photos does not define you.

What defines you? The person you are in your truest self. One of the biggest personal breakthroughs in my life is the realization that I am enough. I don’t need the power, prestige, and possessions to find my meaning. I still struggle, I desire objects and recognition, but I’m doing better at taking a step back and realizing that isn’t who I am.

For me, and others, I find meaning in God’s love, knowing I don’t have to prove anything. Your definition may be in your relationships, personal growth, or a business you’ve created. Your work now reflects the talent and unique perspective only you can give.

You find meaning in the ways you enrich the lives of customers, make them smile, and help them pursue their own calling. I’m no longer a slave to a particular type of work or job, because I can contribute to my community (and the world) through writing, helping people, coaching, serving coffee, cooking food, and encouraging them live the lives they’re called to.

I am enough, what about you?

  • Matt Ragland

    Thank you to everyone who’s reading and sharing this post! It’s an honor to be able to post on TentBlogger, looking forward to engaging with everyone.

  • Jacqi

    Matt, good point about not letting your work define who you are as a person! I learned that a long time ago in my first internship stint in a gero-psych program, when I read studies on how long employees live after retirement (hint: not long at all).

    Over the years since that awakening moment, I’ve seen things have come a long way, thankfully. People have learned–at least at the other end of their life–to not just live for their job. Otherwise, when the job’s over, then…

    Before coming close to those retirement years, people don’t usually face that point until a crisis slaps them in the face. Thankfully, people like you are writing to encourage them to see the whole spectra of life and not just compartmentalize aspects of their schedule. We are whole people, not just fractions of souls that drag ourselves through a work day.

    • Matt Ragland

      Jacqui, I’m so glad you brought this up! The journey towards wholeness takes a lifetime, but is certainly one we need to walk. The study on life expectancy is very interesting too, thanks!

  • Heath

    Great stuff my friend.

    • Matt Ragland

      Thanks! Appreciate it

  • Hutch


    I can’t tell you how encouraging this is. I have recently made the decision to make a major life change and am starting a business. After much prayer, planning and consideration, I finally have everything in line to go forward.

    Thanks for sharing this.


    • Matt Ragland

      Hutch, thank you for reading and sharing. Your comment on the story, and courage to start a new business, is inspiring! I visited your site, what particular aspect of your projects are you turning in to a business? Thanks again!

  • Amy L. Sullivan

    Quoting the Avett Brothers and forcing us to appreciate us for nothing more than being us…good write.

    • Matt Ragland

      Haha, The Avett Brothers speak the truth! We have to be comfortable with ourselves before we can be comfortable with others, and in other aspects of life. Thanks for sharing!

  • Adam Rico

    You’re absolutely right Matt. A meaningful life is full of success in multiple areas of our lives, not just our work or careers. One area can be taken away or changed dramatically, but if we have made deposits of success in other areas then we can weather any storm that comes our way. Especially when we have our relationship with God intact. Great post Matt.

    • Matt Ragland

      Thank you Adam! The relationship with God is crucial, because when we set our definition in the one who has already saved and fully loved us, what else is there to prove? Thanks for reading!

  • Dana

    Great reminder.

    • Matt Ragland

      Thanks Dana!

  • JamesW

    Great post Matt, I am enough and that’s how things are in our lives. Sometimes it’s hard abut sometimes we have good moments and people are unique on their own ways.
    thanks for sharing

    • Matt Ragland

      Thanks James, appreciate you reading! Being enough is something we have to remind ourselves of everyday.

  • Kellie

    You are right, and I do keep trying to believe it…

    • Matt Ragland

      Keep on Kellie! Thanks for reading

  • Chuck

    Enjoyed reading your post very much. You have a heart that speaks well. Thanks for all your post.

  • Joseph

    Those of you speaking about “god” … If that was taken away would you still have your love and strength ? Religion is no different than crutching on the high pay job and ferrarri to define you in my opinion. Why must we be weakling who need the thought of “someone out there cares” to survive well ? Everyone would be weak without religion ? Funny thought.