Not Enough Syndrome

A few mornings ago I woke up, turned to my partner and said “I’m having not enough syndrome today.” He asked me what I meant but I’m pretty sure he already knew and just wanted to give me the opportunity to speak on it. He’s good like that.

Not Enough Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like….feeling like you’re not enough. Earth shattering, I know. Usually when I’m suffering from it I feel really tired. I feel confused. I feel like I don’t know what I want to do. I can’t tell if I want to be around any one or if being around people will, in fact, “cure” me. What I do know, is that it means I need to slow down and take a breath.




I know most artistic people experience this. We’re constantly told by friends and family “remember the little people when you’re famous!” Success to muggle’s (non artists) is only defined by fame, fortune, and being featured on E! news.




But I’m not a total self pitying asshole. Everyone must feel this way from time to time. So what do we do to fix it? Here are my top 5 tips for treating your not enough syndrome:


  1. Talk to someone. Someone you trust. Explain how you’re feeling. Texting is ok – but if you can pick up a phone or meet in person, that’s better. It helps to talk it out and make sense of what’s happening inside.
  2. Do whatever feels right to do that day. When I had NES a few days ago it was mine and my partner’s anniversary. We had plans to go rock climbing but I knew that doing something new and having to focus or challenge myself was just not in the cards that day. We went bowling instead. Just the two of us – which was way better. It’s something we’ve done countless times before. I didn’t have to think about it much. Decide what that is for you. If you want to stay in bed all day and take a time out – go for it. If you want to go out dancing with all your buds – make it happen. Whatever is going to add calm or joy and not stress or frustration is key.
  3. Make some art out of it. I know I know. We’re not all artsy fartsies over here. Sometimes though – creating a quick drawing, journaling or writing a blog post (whatttt I’m doing one of the tips RIGHT NOW) can take the weight off your shoulders. Just tryyyy it. If you don’t like it you can stop.
  4. Treat yo self…..go buy yourself shit.  Retail therapy is real.
  5. Take a walk. Simple, but I feel so much better after a long walk. Don’t look at your phone. Take in the sights. Live a little.



It’s okay to feel shitty sometimes. But know there are ways to fix it.


Self care, self flare.



Published by Kelly Tietjen

Chicago gal offering my own take on self development, creativity, mental health and more.

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