How often have you thought to yourself – I’m not good enough? Not feeling good enough affects us all. Thinking we are not good enough stops us from fulfilling our goals and dreams. Hell, it stops us from having them, let alone trying to fulfill them. Thinking we are not good enough affects the way we behave, the way we treat ourselves, and the way we allow others to treat us.
Some of us can be burdened with thinking we are not good enough for far too long in our lives.
Thinking we are not good enough is an inside job. It’s all going on inside of us and we have a lot more control over how we think and feel than we realize.
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Let’s dive into 12 important things to remember when you think you are not good enough.
1. Everyone feels this way at times. Everyone.
Think of the person you most admire. Or a person you think is fabulous and successful. What they have in common, is that they all have moments where they think they’re not good enough.
Everyone has moments when they doubt themselves and think they are not good enough. Everyone has moments of insecurity.
We often struggle with feeling not good enough when we have suffered a setback or heartbreak.
Having these feelings after a setback is normal and you shouldn’t give yourself a hard time about it. It’s getting lost in those thoughts and feelings and taking them on board as a part of who you are that is harmful.
If you have these feelings, stop beating yourself up about them, because that’s not helping you either. Being hard on yourself for not feeling good enough is just making you feel worse. You want your focus to be on how to feel better and turn things around.
Related posts –
- 10 Ways to Have More Confidence
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Self-Worth and Self-Esteem
- Know Your Worth – Even When it Seems Like the World Doesn’t Quite Agree With You
2. Stop comparing yourself to other people
A big chunk of thinking we are not good enough comes from comparing ourselves to other people.
You might be feeling good about yourself until you jump on Instagram (or Facebook) and see a friend on holiday with their smiling family and then see another friend showing off their great social life and wonderful spouse.
Whatever the scenario, one minute you felt good about yourself, and the next you don’t. Why is that? It’s because you are comparing your life to someone’s perceived (and I use that word on purpose) better life.
Just for the record, no one’s life is as wonderful as it looks in the shiny Instagram photos.
I remember seeing one of my friends on Facebook talking about her husband and how blissfully happy they were and I actually felt a stab of envy. This happens to me very rarely, so I was surprised by it. For that brief moment, I felt like something was lacking in my life. A while later, I found out that the husband had been having an affair. Not so blissful as it turns out.
We all have our problems. We all have to deal with stress in our lives. You are comparing yourself to someone struggling with their own problems and insecurities, and to someone who is most likely comparing their life unfavorably to someone else as well.
Your life is not better or worse. This isn’t about feeling superior or inferior.
If you want to stop thinking you not good enough, you need to get yourself off the comparison rollercoaster. It’s a crappy ride and there are a lot of better things you could be doing with your time.
Related posts that can help with comparison –
- 16 Thought-Provoking Comparison Quotes to Help You Stop Comparing Yourself
- 14 Ways to Deal with Being Compared to Someone Else
- Why You Need to Stop Comparing Yourself to People on Social Media
- 10 Ways Social Media Can Affect Your Mood and Emotions
3. What does ENOUGH mean to you anyway?
Let’s break down the statement itself.
I am not good enough.
Good enough for what? Enough of what? Enough for whom? For your parents? For your family? For your partner? For the job you want?
Is it because you feel you are not attractive enough or smart enough? Unfortunately, a common one for many women is – I’m not thin enough.
I’m not thrilled to admit this but in my twenties, I struggled a lot because I felt I wasn’t pretty enough. In my eyes, all of my close female friends were gorgeous and I was the ugly one. I was envious when they got male attention and compared myself to them constantly, always coming up short.
And yet when I look back at photos, I see just how attractive I was at the time. That ugly, not good enough feeling had NOTHING to do with the way I physically looked and everything to do with the way I felt about myself.
I had low self-esteem and very little self-worth and that is why I felt unattractive.
No matter how much I fussed over my looks (and I fussed a LOT back then), it didn’t mean anything until I started working on what was going on inside my own head.
I had to start working through my insecurities and abandonment issues. I had to work on my self-worth.
Focus on building a rock-solid sense of self-worth and a lot of the ‘I’m not good enough’ fears and feelings will fall away.
4. Remember it’s just a thought
I know that our thoughts and feelings play a big part in our lives and what we think about ourselves is very important but I am starting to realize that we take all of our thoughts and feelings way too seriously.
We have so many thoughts day in day out and let’s face it a large portion of them belong in the trash can of our minds but that’s not where we put them.
We hold onto them.
We make a very big deal out of them. We agonize over them. We make ourselves miserable.
Worse we believe them. Before we know it they evolve into ‘our story’.
All from some random thought that should have been thrown into the rubbish bin of our minds, the second we thought it.
Thoughts come and go. Let them come and go and quickly throw out the rubbish ones that say, in any way shape, or form that you are not good enough.
For an excellent book to shake up the way you think, I highly recommend – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I love this book and often reread sections of it to get my thinking back on track.
5. Own HOW you are feeling
Hang on, you might be thinking, didn’t you just say I had to let my thoughts and feelings go!
Fair enough, let me clarify. This is about owning up to how you are feeling. Owning up to admitting that you don’t feel good enough.
A lot of people won’t admit to how they feel in the first place. People might view it as a sign of weakness. Consequently, when people are thinking they are not good enough it may present as something different.
They might come across as arrogant, egotistical, full of themselves, or even angry. They might brag a lot about how wonderful they are.
This is often all for show. They are trying to deny (ignore or bury) how insecure they really feel.
Own how you feel, and be aware of it, that way you will be onto the next step of working on and reducing those feelings. What you are aware of you can work on.
6. Pay close attention to your self-talk
You can’t change or improve unless you are aware of what needs to change. Awareness is where it all starts.
You have to be aware of when you think you are not good enough.
The thing is it might not sound like what you are expecting. Sometimes you will hear yourself think or say those exact words – I am not good enough.
But other times you will hear things like –
- I don’t deserve love or (substitute another word for what you think you don’t deserve)
- What the hell is wrong with me?
- I will never get what I want
- No one will ever love me
- My life will never change
- I deserve to be treated badly (no you don’t by the way)
- I’m a loser
- I’m unlovable (this used to be my torture device of choice back in the day)
These are just a few but I’m sure you get my drift. All of these negative things, make us feel we are not good enough.
The good news is that we can improve our self-talk.
Start by replacing negative thoughts with more positive, uplifting ones. You need to do this each and every time. Repetition is important. Repetition is often how we pick up negative thoughts in the first place, so repetition can help us eliminate these thoughts as well.
If you start thinking you are not good enough to apply for a job, counteract that by thinking about what a great job you have done at work previously, performance reviews that went well, or times your boss complimented you on doing a great job.
You have to start challenging and questioning your thoughts of feeling not good enough.
Feeling unlovable? Think about all of the people who do love you and have loved you. (Remember, just because one particular person no longer wants to be with you, does not make you unlovable!) Throw in a generous dose of gratitude for the wonderful people you do have in your life.
You are responsible for how you talk to yourself.
I used the word responsible there for a reason. Responsible means you are in charge. You have the power.
One thing that can stop us from changing our lives is that we feel powerless, when in fact we have all the power.
The truth is we are the ONLY one with the power.
Other people can tell you, you are fabulous until they are blue in the face but you are the one who has to believe it. Your self-talk is a tool to start believing.
Related posts to improve your self-talk –
- 3 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Positive Self-Talk
- Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk
- When Do You Let Your Mind Wander?
- Words to Stop Using to Move Your Life Forward
7. Validate yourself from within
This one is incredibly important.
You need to be able to validate yourself from within. So what does this mean exactly? Internal validation means you love yourself and know you are a worthy human being.
External validation means that you need other people to constantly prop you up to feel good about yourself. You need regular compliments to feel attractive, you need praise to feel smart or you need frequent signs of appreciation to feel loved. In other words, other people dictate how you feel about yourself.
External validation is dangerous territory because the minute someone says something bad or negative about you – your house crumbles, your self-worth is shattered and your confidence is gone.
In today’s world of negative and (unfortunately often cruel) social media exchanges that is a dangerous thing.
Don’t hand your sense of self-worth over to people on a silver platter and when I say people, I also mean the people closest to you. This means your parents, husband, wife, family, friends, and children.
As much as you love them, they don’t get to define your worth for you.
You are the ONLY person who gets to do that.
Often the reason we feel not good enough, is that we listen to everyone else when we should be listening to ourselves.
Even well-meaning loved ones can mess with our self-love and acceptance.
If you just read that and you’re thinking but I don’t love myself – I hate myself, so how can I validate myself from within, then learning to love yourself is what you need to work on. And when I say work on, I mean make it your mission.
Loving yourself and knowing your worth is what will turn things around for you. The good news is you are in the right place, Write Change Grow is all about knowing your worth, growing as a person, and loving your damn self, so let’s bring that on. 🙂
8. You don’t have to be perfect
You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be whatever your version of perfect is.
I don’t know what perfect means for you. It might be a particular clothing size, having a certain amount of money, having a particular job, or whatever you want to substitute here.
You don’t have to be a perfect parent, perfect spouse, or perfect sibling. If you think you have to BE something before you can feel good enough, you are going to struggle.
You are going to make your life a lot harder than it needs to be.
If you struggle with perfectionism, you might enjoy the below podcasts.
Sam Laura Brown – The Perfectionism Project Podcast
9. Understand that not being good enough can be a good thing
I often felt not good enough for my Dad because I disappointed him. When I was in my twenties my best friend owned a house and my Dad respected her highly for that. (I respected her too by the way).
But, I was a disappointment because I spent my money traveling. Traveling wasn’t his thing and he thought it was a HUGE waste of money.
But traveling is MY thing. It’s a big part of my life (unfortunately not quite at the moment, but that’s a whole different story).
Traveling is who I am. It’s part of MY identity.
Sure I could have given up traveling to try to make my Dad less disappointed in me, but I would have made myself miserable in the process, and down the line, I could have resented him for it. I would have resented him even though I had made the decision (based on what I thought he wanted) – which is definitely not a wise move.
I hope you do things that disappoint other people but fills your soul with joy and happiness.
Be proudly not good enough and be your own kind of wonderful.
10. Focus on learning and improvement
Say you are thinking, I’m not a good enough Mum. I’m sure that isn’t true but perhaps there are things you might benefit from learning as a Mum (particularly if you are a new Mum).
Here is the thing, you don’t have to know and be good at everything. None of us are good at everything. None of us know everything.
What you can do is learn. You can learn what you need to be a better Mum and put those new skills into practice.
There is an abundance of learning tools for you to utilize. Read high-quality websites or head to the library or bookstore for a good book. Reach out for help and ask another mother you respect.
You then practice what you learn and you improve and because your child is an individual (and not a robot) with their own amazing personality, you will have to adapt what you learn. You will most likely have to practice different approaches. Some things will work and some things won’t. You keep learning to find out what works for your family.
That doesn’t make you not good enough that makes you someone who is learning and growing.
I use motherhood as an example here but this applies to everything. If you want to do better in your career, see what you need to learn. If you want to be a better communicator, learn what you need to know and then practice to move forward.
While I fully appreciate that not everything can be learned out of a book or from the Internet and a lot of things like motherhood for example need a lot of hands-on experience (and no doubt some sleepless nights along the way), it is the drive and willingness to improve that is the point I’m trying to make.
It’s making the effect to be better and doing the hard work required that’s important.
When you are trying to do better that makes you more than enough.
11. Make the decision to stop believing your own bullsh*t
Sometimes we have to decide. We have to decide we are no longer going to feel the same way about ourselves. We have to make a decision to start loving ourselves and believing we are enough.
I remember doing this myself. I can’t give you an exact date or a particular moment but I do remember thinking to myself – I’ve had enough of this sh*t. It’s time to stop hating myself.
Did I never again think I was not good enough from that moment on? Ehhh. No.
It’s an ongoing process.
But it was from that moment on that I decided to monitor, be aware of, and make a conscious effort to stop the seemingly endless stream of crap thoughts I was having about myself. It was from that moment that I started replacing harmful thoughts with helpful ones.
For me it wasn’t just about talking to myself more kindly, it was about shifting my mindset and focus. I started being laser-focused on what I wanted to achieve.
It took time and it wasn’t always easy, getting called into an office and fired for no reason can make you feel a whole lot of ‘I’m not good enough’ pretty damn quickly, let me tell you!
What I’m saying is – you will have setbacks but don’t let that stop you.
If you’re a stubborn person, use that to your advantage. I did. I got my stubbornness on and refused to give up on my decision. I kept pushing myself forward and every time I feel down in my decision (and in my life) I got myself up again.
I won’t lie sometimes it took longer to get back up than I would have liked but I stuck to my decision and kept going.
If you are a persistent person, use that. I have a weird sense of humor and I’ve used that to improve my self-talk. If out of frustration, I have been overly critical of myself, I pick up on it straight away, make a joke out of it and turn it into humor. Before I know it I’m smiling and have forgotten all about it. Use whatever skills and tools you have at your disposal.
It starts with a committed decision. Not a ‘maybe I’ll think about it later’ but a committed decision.
The decision is your turning point. Make the decision to believe you are good enough.
12. You are good enough
From the minute you were born, you were enough. You were worthy and lovable and ENOUGH.
NOTHING has changed.
You have made mistakes. You’ve had setbacks and obstacles along the way. You’ve had people say stuff to you and act in ways that weren’t nice or good or respectful. I’m sure you’ve had people be horrible to you.
BUT you are still standing and growing as a person, you are still a wonderful, powerful, inspirational version of you. Even on the days, you feel you aren’t.
You are good enough. You need to believe that. You need to commit to believing you are enough and make it part of your inner core, part of who you are. Love yourself, accept yourself, and work on your personal growth. Because YOU, my friend are good enough and always will be.
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