Author: Robert Hackman

by Robert Hackman Robert Hackman No Comments

What if You Were Always Enough?

By Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

Looking for some peace in me

I cannot find within a tv screen

Spiritual impurities

Tamper wholeheartedly

This should come as no surprise

Self-love to realize

I am enough


From the song ‘I Am Enough’

By Bruce C.



It was the simplest of group exercises. Yet its impact was significant. It involved pieces of paper with rudimentary mask drawings, pens, and a paper bag.

The instructions from Connie Palmer, the expert designer and facilitator of the workshop ‘Shame the Master Emotion,’ were clear. She asked the participating men and women to write three sentences describing how others perceive them on the front and three lines on the back, sharing how they see themselves.

The completed papers were read aloud anonymously. The differences between the front and back of the sheets were both startling and universal. One message was overwhelmingly evident. We all feel shame.

Shame derives from the belief that a part of us is inherently and irreparably flawed and cannot be changed.

The pain of shame is sharp, deep, and threatening. It causes you to feel you are not enough. That you are unworthy of love and belonging makes you separate from yourself and others.

It compels you to hide; put on a mask and armor up. Therefore, it is easy to think you are the only one.

You are not alone. You never have been. You are the same as others, despite many pretending otherwise.

By acknowledging your humanity, you can begin to let your guard down. The more you accept and embrace all of yourself, the less susceptible you are to being hurt by others. The more accepting of others you become.

What would your life be like if you genuinely believed you were ‘enough?’ What would your family, team, and organization be like if they were filled with people who knew they were enough?

I believe it would create a world of people living their purpose full out, unshackled from the debilitating impact of the shame of believing they are not enough.

I find it fascinating to consider and a challenge to comprehend; a slightly different take on what John Lennon envisioned in his song, ‘Imagine.’

Yes, you are flawed, along with everyone else. You are enough because of humanness and vulnerabilities, not despite them.

My fervent desire for you, as you embark on the new year, is for you to let go of shame through sharing yourself vulnerably with others you trust and who care about you.

Doing so frees you up to live the life you want and leave the legacies you intend as you do the same for others. I cannot think of anything more essential than that.

As my treasured friend, Tom Werder, frequently asks, ‘How free do you want to be?’


Key take-aways:


  1. We all experience shame. You are not alone in this way and never have been. Although, some people feel more than others.
  2. Shame stems from the belief that a part of you is unacceptable and irreparable, thereby making you unworthy of love and belonging.
  3. Vulnerably sharing yourself with others you trust and who care about you helps you release shame and accept and embrace all of yourself more fully.
  4. You are enough because of your humanness and vulnerabilities, not despite them.
  5. Letting go of shame enables you to live the life you want more thoroughly and leave the legacies you intend as you help others do the same.


If you want help letting go of shame in you, your team, or your organization, please reach out to me; I welcome the connection.