Struggle with Not-enoughness?

Frustration and anxiety immediately hijacked my mind the moment I seriously committed to writing this book.

What on earth am I going to wear for the cover photo of my book? I need to look really polished…maybe I’ll wear my pearls! But will that look too bougie?

Which photographer am I going to work with? Oh, I want someone who’s rrrrreally good...but how much is that going to cost? It doesn’t matter, I need to have the best.

And who’s going to do my makeup? I can’t possibly do it myself -  people looking at the cover will know!

Oh man, I’m actually going to have to wash my hair…Ok, so I’ll schedule my photoshoot for a weekend day when I have more time to tame this mess on my head.


Just 3 weeks before my book launch, and still nothing settled for my book cover, I found myself at a networking event. It had completely escaped my mind that a photographer would be there taking free headshots.

SCORE...I could used these shots for my book! But wait, I’m not wearing any makeup! CRAP!

But, I quickly realized that this couldn’t be more perfect! My book is called “MORE than Enough,” and what better opportunity than this to practice living my truth. Here and now.

So I posed in my go-to double bicep pose, big cheesy smile, no makeup, hair unwashed for a week, wearing my $10 six-year-old LBD, feeling 100% me.

I can’t be the person just talking the talk; I need to live my truth. It’s as vital to my survival as the oxygen I breathe. When I show up as me in raw form, I’m 100% alive.

I don’t need makeup to be beautiful when I’ve been blessed with flawless skin and a radiant smile. I don’t need fancy clothes and jewelry, when my body is perfection on its own. And I don’t even need a professional photographer, when I’ve got portrait mode on my iPhone X. I am enough. *CORRECTION* I am MORE than enough!

You may be reading this thinking, “Wow, Dr. Riva is so confident!” But that wasn’t always the case.

Until 13 years ago, I absolutely HATED my body. Loathed it. Felt tormented living in it. I thought my legs were so appallingly fat that I even fantasized of having them amputated.


And now, I can glide across the stage in a tiny Swarovski crystal bikini, owning every inch of my body, and especially loving my well-developed muscular legs.

So anything is possible. If I can overcome, so can you.

But, this isn’t a book just about your body, it’s about your whole life.

It’s funny because I started out writing this book thinking it would be more about health - which it totally is - but it’s not what you’d expect from a traditionally-trained Western Medicine physician. As the words started flowing through me onto the page, I saw clearly what this book, my mission, and my life is all about.

Self Love.

If you could hear the recording that played in my head for most of my life, it would sound something like this:

I’m not skinny enough.

I’m not good enough.

I’m not pretty enough.

I’m not popular enough.

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not rich enough.

I’m not White enough.

I’m not Black enough.

Rewind. Press Play. Repeat again...NEVER enough.

Not-enoughness is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. Just when I think I have it conquered, it attacks me in a different way. So I know it’s never going to disappear completely. But because I know at my core that I am enough, PERIOD, that old dialogue does not keep me prisoner anymore.

But in order for us to defeat Not-enoughness, we have to know exactly what it is we’re fighting. Here are 5 ways I recognized it’s manifested in my life:

  1. Poor body image

  2. Perfectionism

  3. Settling for less

  4. Seeking external validation

  5. Denying my dreams

You might have noticed that there is some overlap between these five items. Just as our human body is a complex system of interdependent organs, so are the inner workings of our minds.

Is this hitting home yet? I know I feel a little squirmy in my chair, and I hope you feel a little bit uncomfortable, too. I hope you get so uncomfortable reading this book, hearing all of the stories, that you finally are fed up of living a life of LESS THAN.

This is your one and only precious life that you have to live. It’s time to love yourself, listen to your gut, and live your divinely appointed truth. You deserve it.

You are good enough.

You are strong enough.

You are wise enough.

You are MORE than enough.

Yours always in Enough-ness,

Dr. Riva

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Loving what you’ve read here? Make sure you stay tuned for my book launch next Tuesday, April 9! “More than Enough: The Healing Journey to Love Yourself, Listen to your Gut, and Live Your Truth” will be available for download on Amazon for * FREE * on launch day only!

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